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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sailing with Dolphins!

Now it's later in June... June 20th to be exact... and the weather and water are getting considerably warmer!  YAY!  You will notice that the layers of clothing are much less and for Cathy to dangle her tootsies in the bow wave it must be warm!

In this clip we were lucky to have at least 40 or 50 dolphins come and play with us!  They were positively joyful while racing with Terrwyn ...  also with light airs we were able to fly both the spinnaker and the drifter. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cooking and Communication on Terrwyn

Here's a little clip in which Co-Cap Cath gives us a little tour of the galley showing the magic of a gimballed stove... and then a bit of the nightly report through the ham radio to the Pacific Seafarers Net.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Runnin' Down the 134th Meridian

Just a short clip of us flying the spinnaker or 'chute'... travellin' down the 134th meridian!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Carabiners and Carbs

Safety comes first in our boat!  We always say that if there is a choice of a way to do something or a choice of routes to take we will always choose the safer option.  Hence we are very attentive to being hooked into our jack lines - even while in the cockpit! 

We also have certain chores to do each day... everything from checking the fishing lines to taking a fix on our chart to making sure the fresh produce is still edible! 

Here's a peek :



Til next time...

Cathy and Bill
SV Terrwyn

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happy Hour on Terrwyn... Refreshments, Stories and Songs

The cockpit of Terrwyn became a busy and often noisy little place around 5pm every afternoon... we would gather to share the days events, sing along with our favourite CD's, have a few refreshments or two and enjoy the vast ocean and endless sky around us.  Sometimes a few birds -  Shearwaters, Petrels and when we got closer to the Marquises the Little White Tropicbirds and Red-tailed Tropicbirds and later on the journey even a variety of different Albatross - would swoop around the boat perhaps hoping to pick up a few of the crumbs from our cheese and crackers!

Here's a little video that might help to capture a little of what we enjoyed during our Happy Hour on Terrwyn:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Crash and Burn... not to worry... No one was hurt!

Okay, it's not what you are thinking!  Phew!!  Not Terrwyn - as she is safely 'on the hard' at Gulf Harbour Marina just north of Auckland New Zealand.  Not the wonderful Quantas plane - which got us safely from New Zealand (our final sailing destination) to Canada. (By the way, we would NEVER fly Air Canada even though they offered a much better non-stop route... but that's for another blog!).

What crashed was our faithful ship's laptop which held every single photo and video that we took on our journey!!  Luckily I had a few... (hundred)... on memory sticks which survived the harsh maritime environment.  We also recovered many of the photos from the dead hard drive, but the quality is less than perfect.  Oh well what is an adventure without a few mishaps?

This posting will begin our gallery of photos and videos from our voyage that we weren't able to upload from our internet cafes throughout Polynesia... where bandwidth and speed problems abound.  Hey, better late than never!

Here we go:

First we have our "video log"  that we started from Day One - starting with leaving Bamfield, on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island.  (Unfortunately I accidently posted the video as private and then again as public... and now you have two copies of the same video... oh well... where is our talented Blog Boy when we need him???).  Sorry to be so confusing - I blame it on landsickness - i.e. being totally dopey !!

Oh well we hope you enjoy it... them... whatever!

Far, far away in a vast world of water...





To be Continued!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bull's Eye!! and a note to BB

Bull's Eye indeed!!!  ... Unbelievable that we have actually made landfall and that it actually is the landfall that we were aiming for coming across that BIG body of water!!

View of Coramandel Peninsula on our approach to Auckland ...!



Our first view of NZ were of Poor Knights Islands peeking out of the clouds just east of Northland... and our first Kiwis to great us were some beautiful dolphins!  I had just taken over watch (Bill had been on watch all night and even did a jibe to get us around and into Colville Passage which then leads into Hauraki Gulf and finally Auckland Harbour.).  As I was doing my scan of the horizon for other vessels and then scrutinize the surrounding waters for anything we might potentially collide with I saw some very unusual splashes (not like the usual dancing splashes that some waves produce).  Sure enough we were being escorted into New Zealand waters by a school of dolphins!!  They seemed so full of joy as in groups of 3 and 4 they swam furiously within inches of our bow hull and then with a burst of unparalleled energy leap through the air and madly swing off only to come back and do it all again!  I was enraptured... and then just felt I had to wake Bill up to enjoy with me those wonderful creatures.  Thank you, King Neptune, for sending us that wonderful welcome... and perhaps as a parting gift to us at the end of our successful trip over the ocean.

Our 'official' Kiwi greeting committee - dolphins just off Great Barrier Island, N.Z.
What fun they were having!

After being welcomed into Auckland Harbour by VHF radio from Auckland
Harbour Authority and NZ Customs, both of whom had been expecting us
for a few days and were a bit worried about us.  We were buzzed by one
of the NZ helicopters from the Harbour Authority (the fellow that came
to our boat from NZ Immigration said that they like to do that to
welcome incoming world cruisers!!).  We were escorted in through the
last bit of the harbour by a huge tugboat which was on it's way out
to greet and help move in a container ship right behind us.  They took
a bit of time to come over to us and talk a wee bit on the VHF making
sure that we knew which slip to go to for our customs check-in.
Typical Kiwi greeting! (Although we're thinking that the huge container ship that was on our tail and coming up on us really fast may have had something to do with the tug captain wanting us to get the heck out of its way!!).

The Immigration, Customs and Bio-Security people met us at the little quarantine dock and came aboard for the official paperwork etc.  So nice and very quick... we then headed back
out of the harbour to motor across to Gulf Harbour Marina where ourlittle slip was waiting for us.  By dinner time we were all tied up and having a couple of brews in a little pub, which promises to be a favourite haunt of ours, and then a wonderful dinner of gourmet burger for me (fish) and fish and chips
for Bill.  YES!!!

We are arranging to have Terrwyn put "on the hard" for a year and store our sails and bits and pieces and then ... the ocean adventure will continue.

Meanwhile we are eager to explore Northland as that is one area of New Zealand that I did not get to know when living here.  Yes, indeed, we are looking forward to that... as we speak Bill is
getting our rental car so that we can begin our land adventure for the next 3 weeks!

IMPORTANT NOTE TO BB:

Over the last five months of this blog there has been a faithful, hard working friend behind the scenes making sure that our words were very quickly posted as soon as he received them through Sailmail.  He did this faithfully, even when he was on holidays!!  I'm talking about our lovely BB (i.e. Blog Boy) AKA Gord Choate... friend and fellow world adventurer.  We owe you, Gordo, big time... and these words are for you from us:

Thank you, my friend, for being there, sharing in our journey as someone who really knows
what adventures are all about.  Your participation in this voyage has made it possible for others to share in it as we went along.  There are not enough words of thanks from us to properly let you know how we feel about you and your support for us.  We love you!

Now, here we are - back on dry land and looking for more adventures!

Cath and Bill

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Spinnaker

Ships' log

Lat 23 degrees 54 min S

Lon 179 degrees 51 min EAST!!

25 hours, not that we're counting, competitive, calculating or cunning... however it has been a wonderful day/sail/moment. You have to love the open ocean - even light air days with the chute up and drawing; threading a course between Pelorous Reef to Starboard and unnamed shoals to port - 70 miles apart. Course made good - 245 compass, 25 hours with spinnaker up 100% of the time. Cathy having cut her land lubber teeth completely now; doing her watches through the night flying the 'kite' all by herself - even dousing the mainsail solo by starlight. A very happy and proud co-cap awakened me after the fact - next morning. After NZ Darwin is looking very good!

Following the spinnaker we endured our second gale and came out today with Trade Wind Paradise. However we crossed the 23 degree 45 min South Latitude this morning (the Tropic of Capricorn) and also the International Dateline and the water is cooler and the nights almost cold. Yes, it is happening... we are no longer in "The Tropics" nor the West, but in "The Temperate Latitudes" and "the East". 860 nm to Auckland S SW, forward ho!!

Fair winds

Billy

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Cruisin' Rules"

Ship's Log

Lat 23 degrees 23 min S

Lon 175 degrees 24 min W

Yes, there really are such things... many of them being made up as we go along! I send apologies to the actual author of the book "Cruisin' Rules" , Roland Barth, although I know he would heartily approve of whatever mess I make of his work (he is wonderfully self- deprecating...) in fact, this happens to follow one of his original cruisin' rules, I believe it was #14, - "He who holds the paintbrush determines the colour". This one resulted from a number of co-owners including him of a boat who decided that a fresh coat of paint was needed and only two of them showed up on the agreed upon weekend to do the work. Well the absentees were more than disappointed when seeing the results after the weekend of work was done... I seem to recall that one of them called it "Cat's ass brindle" - I leave it up to your imagination as to the resulting colour... thus was born the new rule.

Both Bill and I read this small though powerful and extremely funny book before we left for the open ocean (although C0-cap Bill kindly gave it away to some unknown cruiser along the way without my say - the result is yet another cruisin' rule about books being lent) and many of the rules have guided us both in our journey not only on Terrwyn but in life itself! In fact this was a book that I had recommended to the principals of our Calgary Board of Education schools as an inspiration for them and their staffs and students.

One very important cruisin' rule is Rule #2 "Good though!" ... which was created during a voyage with a number of his friends on board. Each of them took turns in galley duty with each person responsible for cooking one meal in turn. One untalented epicurean created a dish that was particularly distasteful which inspired many critical comments after the meal was eaten. Being very hurt by those comments and bringing that to everyone's attention a new rule was born... that being that no matter how bad something tastes the final comment should always be "Good though!"...or the criticizer would have to cook for a whole week!. When it was next the turn of our unfortunate untalented chef he decided to test the rule and gathered up some of the ship's cat's excrement and made a puree on crackers as a first course. After first bites of the interesting looking appetizer one of the crew blurted out " This tastes like cat shit!!!" and then quickly added "Good though!". We may be close to testing that rule ourselves as we are working our way through the ship's provisions so that once we arrive in New Zealand we should have bare cupboards. After taking a brief survey of what we have left stowed in our quarterberth and under the salon port berth I can see that pork and beans, rice and ichiban noodles may become the major ingredients in every meal for the next 10-12 days (with a bit of ketchup, mustard and peanut butter providing additional interest to the dishes). Interesting challenge for Terrwyn's chef (and diners!!)... no matter what, everything will be "Good though!".

Since both of these rules apply, in our case, to being able to accept decisions made by your co-capn during his/her watch came into play last night when I happened to be on watch. During the evening the wind had died to measly 2-3 knots with a resulting boat speed of 0.03-0.05 kts.

While Bill snored (sorry, I mean "Made sleeping sounds") away below decks I sat in the cockpit listening to the main sail slatting itself to death with each lazy roll of the boat... after 2 hours of this torture (that is -the sound of the sail flopping not of co-caps sleeping sounds) I decided that I needed to do something about it and I hated to disturb the sleep of my hard working co-cap. Now one of the serious rules of
Terrwyn on the open ocean is Rule #1 - "No one leaves the cockpit when on watch alone without wearing a harness being firmly attached to the jacklines". (which leads from the stern to the bow of the boat allowing one freedom of movement but safely harnessed in). For two hours I sat listening to and looking at that flopping sail until I couldn't stand it anymore. At that moment I went through all of the steps that I would
need to do to successfully put the mainsail to bed and one of those steps required that I go forward to the mast to deploy the jack stays (lines that attach to the boom and when set up ensure that the sail nicely falls into place on the top of the boom instead of flopping all over the deck). Well I headed out with heart in mouth to venture along the side decks, clamber onto the deck top and position myself with bottom firmly planted on our granny bars or mast pulpit (which are there for just that purpose - as a place to be secure when working at the mast). Despite the roly-poly movement I quickly deployed the jacklines... scampered back to the cockpit, released the main halyard and watched as the mains'l settled beautifully into it's place cradled by the jackstays on the top of the boom. Feeling very encouraged by this small success I then grabbed a sail tie jumped out of the cockpit, scampered up to the boom and fixed the sail tie around the boom and then around the flaked sail - "Alison Style"), secured the main halyard on one of the mast winches and got back into the cockpit with a great feeling of success... first time ever doing sailwork all by myself in the dark... without... oh my, I had forgotten one of our cardinal rules about not leaving the cockpit without being harnessed in... gulp!! Then and there I made up a new Terrwyn cruisin' rule - Rule #1a - "It is not necessary to reveal to co-cap the breaking of cruisin' rule #1 if the rule breaker is still safely on board!".

Fair winds from

Co-cap Cath safely on board SV Terrwyn!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Gale

Ship's log 21 degrees 35 min S
Lon 174 degrees 43 min W

It's the morning after. Full sun, SE breeze, 10 kts, Seas 2 mtrs out of the SE Angi (i.e. Minetta) and Nick have left Terrwyn and signed on as crew on SV Shadow in Neiafu with skipper Michael. Michael is a sweet young skipper needing crew to help him sail her ( a Tayana 37) to Fiji and then NZ. Michael is from New York and we all met and partied in Niue, everything was perfect, Michael lost his crew in Tonga and Angie and Nick are perfect for the job. Cath and I love each other (now minus our shirts) and Mike truly needs crew and ours will learn so much more with "comparative anatomy". Terrwyn to Shadow and Fiji added in the balance.

Win, win, win. We will miss our young ( and now all trained up ! ,crew )

Back to "A gale"....

Terrwyn cleared Nieafu customs, harbour master and immigration Saturday, October 15, 07:00 just before a terrific "squall" unloaded a Somerset Maugham Tropical Deluge. Clever Bill saw this major rain as a big squall and maturely suggested we hang on a mooring buoy nearby so Cath could clean the Nieafu Saturday Market in the pouring rain while I squared away the dock lines and did final Terrwyn Sea worthy lock down. And it rained till nearly noon. No problem, just a big squall, aren't we clever and mature to wait this one out in harbour (not having motor or cockpit protection). It stopped storming (paused) around noon and we slipped the mooring and sailed out of the harbour in a light following breeze... very nice! A few light air jibes through the Vava'u islands (Desolation Sound look alikes plus 80 degrees temp) and out East into the open ocean, 3 metre seas, 25 knot N "breeze", lightning and more rain. My goodness a touch of sea sickness and the breeze 'on the nose', right. Comic relief is provided with spy hopping humpback whales showing off port beam distance 100 ft. Amazing, then rapidly scary as we watch their white bellies coming our way. Nothing happens further and we regain our voices and carry on plowing to windward to regain to north of Vava'u proceeding east before heading south for NZ. The waters west of Tonga are reef strewn (and to Bounty Mutiny history) so we chose to head south along the east of the Tonga Chain. Good call as the rain and wind continued all day, all night, all day and all night.

Again, this morning is a new morning. This was no squall but our first "full blown gale". The first night we beam reached due south in 3,000 metres of water 30 miles to windward of Tonga's lee shore. And it howled, seas built, clouds and rain blackened the sun, moon and stars for 48+ hours continuously. Everything below deck soaked up water as we dregged it below with all hatches closed to the green water rolling over our fore deck and both side decks. No squall, I gather, a gale, no blown spume... Beaufort scale?... however 30-40 kts wind with 3 mtr seas everywhere confused, noisy and scary. Daybreak more of the same however we have accustomed to it and enjoying the ride at 7 knots down the pipe so thankful in deep blue water not littered with shoals as to the west of Tonga. It has to "blow itself out" right? Wrong.. Nightime came and- Second verse, same as the first. Then near midnight Cath alerted me to nasty darkness to windward. My goodness. Now it's sheets of rain which calms the waves somewhat and full on phosphoresence roaring along and behind the boat as we surfed down these monsters at 7-8 knots - steady whine and vibration.

Monti (our wind vane) held Terrwyn, broad reach, under hankie sized reefed jib, stay sail and double reefed main. We held the mainsheet to cast off if she rounded up but everything held - thank god for 2 hours steady as a rock, roaring along 240 compass. Good thing as no way we would dare upset the balance that was set. 7.6 knots boat speed, apparent wind 26-30 and no no visibilty. Essentially on autopilot, everyone double clipped in listening and watching the ocean roar past in spraklying phosphoresence.

Amazing! Even this gets a little tiring after 2 days of the same. Cath "retired" to the din below and I watched Monti do his magic throughout the night. Relieved later by Cath, sleep of the dead to awaken to today's South Pacific Paradise. Was I dreaming? That was no dream nor was I sleeping. We survived our first gale. YAHOO on with the prgram NZ here we come albeit at 5-6 not 7 plus knots which is very nice.

Fair winds ,

Billy

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"There Comes a Time"

Ships Log

Lat 18 degrees 42 minutes S

Lon 174 degrees 01 minutes W



Ships Log

Lat 18 degrees 42 minutes S

Lon 174 degrees 01 minutes W

Here we are sitting in a beautiful little bay near Neiafu, Vava'u, Tonga... Terrwyn sitting pretty on still turquoise waters where we can see the bottom through 20 feet of water as though it were only 1 foot deep!! Fishes swim around our boat as though we were just another large ocean organism and they accept us as a friend. We are going to explore a cave, Swallows Cave, at the entrance of the bay tomorrow morning with some cruising friends of ours and that, along with a bit of snorkelling near the boat will be the total of our expended energy for the day! Each day seems to meld into the others leaving us with a sense of languor not felt very often back home! Wonderful! However this too shall end, unfortunately and this end is coming very soon as we are planning to leave Tonga for NZ within the next few days (the blog explains why).

love to all and Happy Thanksgiving (a wee bit late)

Cathy

..and now here's from Billy:

It just happened, a Paradigm Shift... the tide has turned...

We are too comfortable, almost relaxed. Even complaints are raised if a shirt to cover up after 8pm and a temp. less than 80 degrees is sensed. The turquoise waters (bath temperature) and tropical birds from the jungle seem just natural and normal. Days of the month are as immaterial as the days of the week have been since goodness knows when...

We had set aside October to explore Tonga but now will clear immagration in a couple of days and set sail S S by W for NZ.

It's time to get Terrwyn to her new home away from home. A combination of lost Sailmail, fridge conking out, spotty engine control panel, sincs all fut gone, and a prop shaft underwater line tangle have all contributed to a sooner rather than later Tongan departure. Terrwyn needs to be hauled and NZ here we come. Out with the Ocean Passages book, NZ charts and route decisions. Tonga is paradise and we would love to gunk-hole about but life is not fair. Our young crew may explore Tonga on foot and fly home however Terrwyn needs major pit stop ASAP.Unless Sailmail reappears this may be our last entry before NZ. We apologize for no replies as we've not received any email via Sailmail for many weeks at sea. Time marches on and we must as well.

Fair winds from Terrwyn

Billy

"The Beginning of the End"

Ships log

from Vavau Group, Tonga

Lat 18 degrees 40 minutes S

Lon 174 degrees 00 minutes W

Neiafu UT +13

Cath is exploring Neiafu's Saturday Market, Nick and Angie (Min) are off and about on "Liberty" doing the same (poor Nick!). I am so fortunate! I'm back aboard Terrwyn stowing fresh produce and picking up forgotten camera's etc - perfect.

Vavau Group is rather like a cross between Desolation Sound and Vietnam jungle; very warm still, protected and exotic with tropical birds calling from behind the impenetrable foliage ashore and a maze of islands and islets everywhere. We arrived yesterday, cleared with Immigration, Health, Customs and picked up local currency (Tonga Pa'anga - 1 Cdn dollar is worth about 1.25 TP) and had our first cold drinks and cheesburgers.

Sailmail has been down for weeks now and I apologize for not replying as we have had no email for the same.

Niue was superb, great limestone caves and caverns, sweet warm people and Niue Yacht Club with Commadore Keith - home away from home.

Yes, this feels like the beginning of the end with a month of Tongan local cruising and we make passage to NZ. Gulp!!!

The kids are great, linked up with other youthful sailors and Terrwyn savy (e.g. of the co-caps formality work yesterday Angie and Nick had Pickle (our dinghy) afloat and Terwwyn's Ocean Crossing gear stowed and her anchorage accomodations complete - no mean feat and extremely appreciated the the afterguard!).

On the last passages from French Polynesia we've been lucky with fishing - Skipjack (type of Tuna), Yellowfin Tuna and Mahi Mahi (need proper open ocean rod and reel). The weather has been super, variable Tradewind Sou' Easterlies mixed with squalls from everywhere and a few days of swimming in dead calm. Something for everyone. Terrwyn continues strong, fridge is kaput and we struggle to charge all the gadgets on our little 85 watt solar panel (2 computers, 3 phones, 4 cameras, 1 Goal Zero battery and oh yes SSB, wind instruments, GPS and below deck and navigation lights).

What this boat needs is 3x solar panels, a bigger spinaker, real fishing gear, and a working icebox. We are blessed with a great sail inventory, rig and engine,. We are very pleased with our gear - and lucky! NZ is now seeming very close, just under 2,000 n miles away.

Time to meet Cath and check out Neiafu, including the internet cafe and send this update on. Once again thanks for following our Voyage. There's a thousand pictures of paradise and scattered video to be uploaded one day.

All is well on Terrwyn.

Fair winds

Billy

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Nuie At Last!!

Well we have finally arrived in Niue and we love it! It is a small island of approx. 1500 people self governing but under the auspices of New Zealand. We knew this before we arrived and fully expected to find NZ banks and ATM machines and no problem getting cash... Wrongo!! We have spent the last 2 days trying to get cash and in the meantime everyone in town has opened a tab for us... so No Problem... except our beer tab is getting dangerously close to cleaning out our bank accounts once we do get cash!! We are having to wire money from Canada via Western Express... as they only accept VISA in the bank and Bill's VISA card does not want to work despite numerous calls to VISA and they reassuring Bill that he should be able to get a much as he wants... nope... not happenin'! Oh well such is life when one visits small South Pacific islands!!

Anyway, we hope to be here until our money comes through which may take until October 2nd, 3rd or 4th when we will take off for teh northern islands of Tonga (Va'vau group) - until then we will continue to eat and drink our way through the town of Alofi on Niue building up our tabs as we go... what a great little island!!!

Here are two blog entries that we had written earlier and we were not able to get Sailmail working for the last 2 weeks (not sure why)... so we are sending this from NYC ( Niue Yacht Club not New York City!!) of which we are the 1501st members (most members have virtual membership and have nor never will come here!!). NYC has free wifi access albeit slow so again no photos! Oh well maybe in Tonga!!

Leaving French Polynesia and The Best Little Laundromat in the World!

Lat 16 degrees 32 minutes S

Lon 152 degrees 05 minutes W

Our first night of sailing at the beginning of a 10 day crossing from Bora Bora to Niue Ö nothing really when one thinks about our very first crossing of 6 weeks (35 days) from Victoria, B.C. to Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands!! We now have Minetta and Nick with us who are eager to share the nightly watches (ahhh such youthful enthusiasmÖ one wonders how long this will last!!?!!).

Oh by the way, we found the ulitimate in laundry facilities in Bora BoraÖ a wonderful little place that had wifi, free coffee and tea served while the owner (a charming French man) took our laundry and did it for us for no more than it cost us to struggle through the one poor washing machine which we last experienced! (I donít think Bill will ever get over that one!). Anyway ñ Bora Bora wins hands down in the laundry facilities categoryÖ YAY!!

We had a lovely afternoon sail although no wind to speak of but it allowed Min to jump in the water and duplicate what I did on our crossing through the Tuamotos. It also allowed me to make quite a nice meal of rice, couscous (with almonds, raisins, prunes, onions, cumin, cinnamon etc. etc.), shrimp and snow peas with onions and garlic to add a little flavourÖ finished off with a nice rose wine et voilaÖ a lovely dinner at sea ñ actually quite relaxing!

Nick and I took first watch (8pm to 12 midnight) and had a special delight of being able to watch the moon rise (What a Wonderful Night for a Moondance ñ thanks Van Morrison) ñ OK no dancing but we sure watched it in awe!! The moon is a lovely companion on these long night watches, although she outshines any stars around her, save for the very brightest, which makes star gazing rather fruitless.

This type of weather ñ no wind to speak of or what wind there is seems to swing around the compassÖ is statistically less than 1% of the time in this area ñ most of the time it is a brisk SE Trade Wind of between 15-20 knots of wind (light airs from the NE)Ö we are hoping that the wind will fill in by morning to about 10-15 knots and we will begin scooting across to Niue. Right now Nick is at the helm and we are doing 0.15 knots in a 0.5 apparent wind (hmmmmÖ if my math holds true that means we really have only approximately 0.3 knots of wind) ñ itís amazing that we are sailing at all!!

I guess we should enjoy the peace while we have it!



Fair Winds

Cath and Bill and the crew of SV Terrwyn

Sleigh ride to Niue!!

Ship's Log

Lat 13 degrees 56 min S

Lon 159 degrees 42 min W

I swear Neptune knows when Co-cap Cath is on watch! Every time I am on watch, it seems, the winds pipe up, the seas become menacing, and I experience at least one unexpected downpour...! Oh well, 99% of solving a problem is recognizing that we have a problem - hence on my watches I now take my rain gear, complete with sou'easter (rain hat)all in fashionable sunshine yellow, I make sure all sheets and lines are clear and ready for action, give clear directions to whichever crew member is on watch with me and then hold tight with a big smile on my face :-) No problem!!!

The other night was no exception - I had mid- watch and came up at 100 hours (Bill and Nick had the 1st watch from 2000 hours until 100 hours) listened to their watch report that all was excellent with clear starry skies good wind and Monty, our Monitor Wind vane, was holding us on our course. Min was sleeping so with conditions so ideal I just let her sleep... yup you guessed it, as soon as Co-Cap Bill and Midshipman Nick were below decks nicely in their berths all H--- broke loose. A huge front rapidly moved in and set Terrwyn on her side, heeling 20-30 degrees with gusts of wind coming on our starboard at times up to 35 knots. On went my rain gear and I thought I would sit it out, but back up came Bill and Nick ready to furl the jib and reef the main (we already had one reef in)... that set her back on her feet and we were able to ride out that little storm quite nicely.

So last night I was ready on my watch for the worst and ... Neptune did not disappoint me... another nasty little (?) front came through with all of the above... the only difference was that I had already furled the jib (with Min's help) and we had wisely put 2 reefs in the mainsail. Now I would never want to enrage Neptune by thumbing my nose at him... but I did feel a need to give a gentle wave of acknowledgment to the ol' boy!

Onward with our adventures as we head for the Palmerston Atoll where we have decided to make a brief stop although one of us will need to be on anchor watch at all times as we will be anchoring in very deep (i.e. 9 fathoms) of water outside of the lagoon as the pass is too shallow for us to go through. We have about 300 nm to go to Palmerston, so should be there in a couple of days... after that we will head on to Niue (the smallest self governing nation in the world and we belong to their largest little yacht club, NYC (Niue Yacht Club), of 1500 virtual members in the world... funnily none of the local yacht club members even own a boat :-)but they provide wonderful mooring buoys and huge smiles of welcome to us weary sailors!

Oh must go... Bill is waiting in the cockpit for happy hour before we have our Sunday Dinner of ham, scalloped potatoes, corn and coleslaw... mmmm that makes me hungry just writing it! Oh and don't forget the Sunday dinner bottle of wine :-)

Fair winds

Cath and Bill and crew
SV Terrwyn

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Laundry

Raiatea is a lovely island and it is the spiritual cultural and epi-centre of Polynesia in fact it is often referred to as the 'cradle of Polynesia'. Historically the peoples of Polynesia travelled from here up to Hawaii, down to New Zealand and everywhere in between. It is purported to have the largest maerae in all of Polynesia - Taputapuatea - a sacred spiritual place that is now mostly grown over with jungle vines although the remnants of the huge boulders which make up the platforms peek out from under the foliage throughout the jungle just waiting to be discovered... Unfortunately we did not have time to visit the centre of this island... our time was filled with the very important activity of 'doing laundry'...priorities you know...

... when one has a boatload of damp, salt encrusted (some clothing starting to stand up on their own!) often smelly laundry we have discovered why many cruisers rate the various marinas and towns they visit according to the finer points of being able to 'do laundry'. I suppose if one were inclined to do so, one could score them on a 'laundry service spectrum':

High score -The Ultimate Polynesian Laundry Services-

This level of doing laundry requires a very inexpensive laundry service (most charge around 800 fcp -equivalent to $8.00- per kilo of clothes) where one lugs ones laundry in old sailbags to the dinghy dock where the local laundry come yacht service lady or man is happily waiting to take the smelly damp stuff- and wishes you a happy "Na Na - which is the Tahitian bye bye" as you head off to explore their piece of tropical paradise. By the end of the day the same happy launderer meets you back at the same dinghy dock with said sail bags filled with freshly laundered albeit slightly wrinkled (as they are rarely folded) laundry and with a cheerful "Maru'ru - thank you in Tahitian" - you trundle it all in your dinghy and head back to the mother ship (trying to keep it protected from the spray off the bow of the dinghy).

Mid-score - Pretty Darned Good Laundry Experience-

Then we have the inexpensive washer and drier situated in a very nice, clean marina 'Lavaderier' where one pops soiled clothing and other sundry items into as many bright shiny washers as one requires,pop in the liquid laundry soap et voila... washing is done as one waits on a comfy chair and reads through a vast array of literature left by other happy cruisers. Driers are available and have multiple settings so that each load is nicely matched to it's drying needs. The happy cruiser heads back to the boat with a nicely folded, clean smelling load of laundry and a pocket full of change.

Doesn't Derserve to be Included in the Spectrum Score- Consider Yourself Lucky to Find'em Washing Facilities-

In this category you are lucky to find a washing machine (note - singular)and driers are non- existent... with 3 large loads of washing staring one in the face and only one very small washing machine (with a secret hidden knob requiredto turn it on) this facility is found very low on our laundry services spectrum.

Unfortunately this was what we found at the marina on Raiatea and unaware of the waiting complexities of this laundry establishment (one tiny closet-sized unventilated room where one must close the door of the room before one can open the door of the washing machine)...Co-cap Billy confidently assured Co-Cap Cath that he would do the laundry as she took the crew to scope out the town 5 km down the road. Three hours later when happy co-cap and crew return from trip to town and back in an air-conditioned shuttle taxi, Co- Cap Billy is still sitting outside the laundry room waiting for his FIRST load to finish!! Needless to say when co-cap Cath took over co-cap Billy bolted for the nearest bar (air-conditioned).

Of course, one must consider oneself lucky when one finds any type of laundry facility as the alternative is that of "salt-water wash with fresh water rinse bucket wash day"... however, that is another story...

Co-Cap Cathy

The Dinghy Dock

Got to love the "Dinghy Dock"... that little work horse "The Dinghy" needs or is served well by its own little dock. In Terrwyn's case it's "The Pickle". (Sir Frances Drake's Golden Hine was initially named Pickel, If I remember correctly).

Ubiquitous in these parts, The Dinghy Dock is rather like Plaza Major or Grand Central Station. Each serving the same function each with their own flare. Each a place for crews to converge, meet and compare notes, swap stories from the Mother Vessels anchored off nearby in plain view.

Sometimes local fishermen clean their daily catch and sharks abound or just yachties load water, fuel, and groceries up and down rickety ladders or floats and the kids swim around.

The dinghy painters pile up on the rare bollard and it's a shell game to loosen only your own. Refreshingly locks are very uncommon as generally its bowline with round turn and 2 half hitches on old weathered recycled sheets or halyards.

The dinghy fleet is a mixture of generally RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Bottom boats) a few hard rowing dinks or just plain old and smalle like Pickle. Many are canvas covered (UV pro) and a few "anchored off" in 3 ft. of water if the dinghy dock is just a ramp or sandy beach or an ancient village stone quay. All different all varieties on the theme. All lovely, warm water, inviting, and FREE.

They are all nodes of activity, stages where the crews play their own parts. A busy congested community service for yachties, one time visitors as ourselves.

I love the Dinghy Dock. I am so happy and generally so relieved to arrive at yet another totally new yet strangely familiar little dock. And on it goes day flows into day as we thread our own way through Polynesia and unload Pickle to explore another totally new island - always setting off the from and returning to "The Dinghy Dock". Ships log

Latitude 16 degrees 38 minutes

Longitude 151 degrees 25 minutes W

Anchored off a small motu near the island of Tahaa - small sister to the island of Raiatea

Co-Cap Bill

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Crew, Overnight Crossing and More of 'Starry, Starry night'


Our crew is now safely on board and has experienced their first night crossing. Min and Nick are both eager learners and Bill and I are just as keen to teach them 'the ropes' (as it were!!). We stayed a few days at our moorage in Tahiti (both Bill and I appreciated the lack of stress of being tied up to a reputable marina's mooring buoy (I pronounce it 'boo-ee'... other's say 'boy' - is there really a correct pronunciation or is it like tomatoes??? Hmmm something to ponder on those long ocean crossing night watches)... then zipped over to Moorea - a lovely island that has all the beauty of Tahiti and only a fraction of the tourists. We loved it there and while the kids worked on their scuba diving qualifications Bill and I snorkelled watching them far below us. On that little sojourn Bill and I saw a clam whose opening had to be t least 2 feet long!! (I'm sure light refraction had nothing to do with that!)... we spent a few days of hitchhiking aroud the island; hiking from Cook's Bay back to our anchorage in Baie de Opunohu - a wonderful anchorage by way; and Min and doing some shopping (to Bill's relief I now had another eager shopping partner which let him off the hook!!) since Min had to take a break from diving as she had suffered an inner ear 'squeeze' during her first dive... and then felt it was time to head out again.

We decided to expose our new crew to their first overnight crossing to the island of Huahine our next stop on this journey of discovery in the French Polynesian islands as this would be a great way to expose them to that part of cruising. To set us all up for success in this initial crossing for Min and Nick I handed out one dose of Sturgeron (a terrific seasickness pill) to them and me a good 2 hours before our ETD (Bill happens to have a tummy made out of iron - lucky him!!!). I then decided to start the dough for a couple of loaves of bread as we thought we had not picked up our regular bagette that day (it turned out we not only had picked up a bagette one of us had snuck 2 extras into the quarter berth provision corner... oh well better a plethora of bread than none at all! With bread dough rising nicely in the 80 degree Farenheit galley we set course to the island of Huahine. It is about 60 nautical miles from Tahiti and is perfect to sail through the night to arrive in the morning so that the pass that we wanted to sail through the reef that surrounds Huahine would be very obvious (despite paper charts, electronic charts, navigation cans etc. one must always include excellent visual conditions for entering many of these passes... one can never be too cautious).

Now remember that dough that was rising in the galley? Well, once we were heading out from the lee of Moorea we realized just how big the seas and winds really would be that night (3 metre average swells with 25-30 knots of wind) - I made the wrong decision to go below and continue with the bread making... suffice to say that I did not have the opportunity to enjoy the results of my labour with the others... and Bill had to open a few cans of stew to go with it to keep the crew fed.

I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the starry, starry night during my watches by keeping my eyes glued on the Southern Cross (the constellation that has saved many a sailor from being lost in that huge ocean as a naviagation aid and that night saved me even more than my dose of Sturgeron!!!

Must go now and pick up some fresh produce from the market before they close... tomorrow we head off to the island of Raiteira - apprently considered the historical and cultural centre of all of the Polynesian Islands.

Talk with you soon!

Fair winds from

Co-Cap Cath

Sunday, August 28, 2011

We have lost track of time.

Ship's Log


August 24, 2011
Lat 17 degrees 30 min S

Lon 149 degrees 51 min W

"I am Sorry"

O. M. Goodness, we have lost track of time. When it happened I have no idea. Each day rolls into the next and where are we? Minetta and Nicholas have arrived and we all sailed to Moorea. Hahiti was lovely and we are topped up with diesel, propane, gas, water, all manner of food and fishing gear replenished.

(Coming through the Tuamotos)there was a wild night of storm as we approached Tahiti followed by a sleighride south to Cape Venus (on the island of Tahiti)"full & bye" in brilliant Trade Wind breeze. All the Tuamoto Transit has faded, the Papeete Marche (Public Market) has been traversed several times.

Scuba diving is the present task and Moorea's Baie de Opunohu is our current abode. "On the hook" in 40 feet of water with not a boat in sight. Papeete has everything minus fast internet. We had hoped to send along pictures and videos however not to be - yet!

Lost in Paradise

William

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In Moorea and Paradise continues...

Oh my goodness how time flies - we are now definitely into 'island time' and the days fly by and suddenly we realize that we have not posted to our blog for days and days! 

Just to give you a quick recap - we arrived in Tahiti safely after night of squalls, heavy rainsand winds that couldn't make up their minds regarding direction.  We sailed into the safety of the Papeete inner reef channel a week ago in a beautiful sunny afternoon. 

We were able to tie up to a mooring buoy at the Marina Tiana just a quick bus ride away from 'downtown' Papeete. 

We picked up Minetta and Nicholas (our daughter and her boyfriend) at the airport on Saturday, August 20th, spent a couple of days exploring the island (including a few trips to the Papeete Marche (public market) and out to the beach where Billabong Surfers were having their international competition.

We then sailed over to Moorea with the approach being in heavy rains and fog so that we had to turn on the radar!  We are now safely moored in Baie d' Opunohu (sp?) 2.5 km from Cook's Bay.

We have found an internet cafe to enter this message but we are quickly running out of time!  Our Sailmail connection is really affected negatively when we anchor in mountainous bays so our regular blog entries are not getting through as timely as we would like.  We suspect it will improve once we get back out into the open water on our way to the island of Huahine (in 3-4 days...).

Until then we wish you all well...

Cath and Bill


Monday, August 15, 2011

Gentle Giant


Ship's log

Sunday August 14, 2011

Lat 16 degrees 27 min S

Lon 147 degrees 57 minutes W

Boat speed: 2.6 kts

Wind speed: 4.5 kts

Course: 196 degreees True

These last two days have been the gentlest sailing we have ever experienced in the South Pacific. Yesterday the seas were like glass and there was not a breath of wind... truly a gentle giant. Terrwyn gently came to a stop carried along only by the slight westerly current that flows through the Tuamoto Archipelago - otherwise known by sailors of old as the "Dangerous Archipelago". This Archipelago consists of a large number of atolls... approximately 40 of them with names and numerous others unnamed... all of them with land not higher than 15 feet and of course the ubiquitous palm trees adding another story to the height. One gulps when one thinks that many ocean swells can build to that and higher. Hence the name "Dangerous Archipelago".

As with much in this world that is dangerous this group of atolls is also extremely beautiful. Some cruisers would be aghast that one would sail across the South Pacific and not stop and anchor in one of these little atolls... each one being a coral reef many only having one small pass as an entrance to those who wish to stop awhile to enjoy their beauty. However, currents, wind, tide, and the resulting waves can make this gem of the pacific a sailor's nightmare if one is not extremely careful or terribly lucky. The unaware or careless may well end up as one of the marked or unmarked shipwrecks that dot this place.

We have decided to sail right through one of the 'slots' between the most northwest atolls and head straight for Tahiti and that is what we are doing as I write. As I have mentioned, yesterday was one of our most calm days of sailing even compared to our brief sojourn through the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone or "The Doldrums") way back in Latitude 8 degrees North!! We were able to take advantage of the light airs (that is an understatment!) to hoist not only our beautiful new Hasse and Co. built bright red drifter (with our Triskele symbol proudly displayed) but decided to fly wing on wing, our original blue and white spinnaker. We had promised Hasse that we would be doing that and she had laughed and asked for photos if that were ever to happen... well, photos were duly taken and will be posted for all to see!

Our evening was surreal - our beautiful Terrwyn sitting on a sea of glass with the sun slowly sinking... and I suggested to Bill that he might want to go swimming - what a chance to do something that we never expected would happen... (note: I suggested that ONLY Bill go swimming). He jumped at the chance and we threw out a line from the stern, let down the swim ladder and in he went! Amazing - there he was swimming around the boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean!! The water was so clear that it looked like he was suspended in liquid air! Then he suggested the unspeakable! He wanted ME to jump in too!! Oh no!! I only swim when it is warm, safe, certainly not in a depth of 4,500 metres and definitely not when our only place of security was sailing, albeit extremely slowly, away from both of us! No, no, no, not me... I couldn't risk my security and our safety!... but it did look so inviting and really not too too cool and the line from Terrwyn's stern was tied securely and Bill did assure me that all would be well. So I did!! Yes I did!! I gently let myself submerge into that glassy water and swam in the ocean with my Billy my side. Oh my! Bill then scooted up the ladder and went below for the camera as I hung onto the line... he urged me to let go of the line as it was long enough to grab when needed. So I did... forgetting that it was a sinking line and had soon sunk well below my reach! Panic ensued as I saw Terrwyn and my co-cap sailing away from me leaving me floating alone in this wide, wide DEEP - don't forget I told you it is over 4,000 metres deep- with numerous unknown sea creatures just waiting to gobble up this tender yet slightly bony bit of humanity!! (ok - I'm being a bit melodramatic here, but it was very unnerving) - of course Bill quickly pulled in the line and threw it back to me so I could grab it and I swam back to the safety of the swim ladder, Terrwyn and my Billy... gulp! After a big hug we shared hot, fresh water showers on deck and sat back to enjoy the sunset.

Our night continued with a full moon shining on the smooth sea and a gentle wind picking up so that we soon began to sail again toward our destination. Oh my! Another first in this adventure on this unpredictable giant!

On The Sea Again

Ship's Log August 09, 2011
Lat 12 degrees 32.5 min S

Lon 143 degrees 26.5 min W
The World that is Terrwyn!

We are "on the sea again" (apologies to Willy Nelson) on our 3 rd longest crossing of the entire trip ( the 1st and longest was 3900 nm from Quadra Island to the Marquises; the 2nd longest will be the passageway from Tonga to New Zealand at 1100 nat the latter end of our trip). We hope to arrive in Papeete within 7-8m days. So sad to be leaving the beuatiful Marquises Islands where we made so many great friends both ashore and on other boats, but it is time to move on.

Our crossings bring our world much closer and definitely seen through a different perspective. It seems weird that when we sail with only the big, wide ocean as far as one can see, our boundariestend to become very small! Our world shrinks to our wee (relatively) 37' boatand all within her. Our population is - 2 - with a few transient friends popping in now and again (birds and various sea life).

At sea we establish our routines very quickly: 4 hour watches; planning and preparing meals... oh yes, and cleaning up afterwards which Bill is so skilled at!; personal ablutions -as sponge bath or nice warm showere on the foredeck if it is not too rolly; (Bill likes to be clean shaven... as do I)!!; adjusting sails and sail trim when required; checking our fishing lines (and setting new ones when the lures happen to get chewed off1); reading; playing our ukelele(s); playing Crib (only in the evenings); preparing our Pacific Seaferes Net report at 0300 Zulu or UTC time (formerly referred to as Greenwich Mean Time); calling in the report to the net at 0330 Zulu...

We are sailing with a double-reefed main; staysail;and a full jib with the SE Trades blowing 14-20 knots and we doing 5.5-6.0 knots which means we are able to average 120 nm per day. We are on a nice consisten bean reach on a port takc (Terrwyn's favoured tack) which we hope to maintainall the way to Tahiti. This has been our greatest day and night of sailing ever! We decided to travel straight through the Tuamoto Atolls so that we can be in Tahiti with lots of time before Min and Nick arrive on August 20th. ... and so will start another interesting chapter in this, Bill and cathy's sea story.

All of this within the small world that is Terrwyn out on the wide, wide ocean.

P.S. Late breaking news!! - Yesterday while I was on watch I suddenly saw one of our fishing lines go taut and I quickly scanned the water where our lure was tripping along. The lure was no longer to be seen and in its stead was a lovely Yellowfin Tuna! I yelled at Bill to come up quickly so that we could bring it in without losing it... and we did. As soon as we had that fish nicely filletted and Bill had hosed down the cockpit I just happened to look back and sure enough there was another fish on our second line!! Both Bill and I looked aghast since one 20 lb. Tuna is certainly big enough for two - one can only have so much tuna sushimi; baked tuna; grilled tuna steaks ... Yeah I know you got it!! We tried to bring the second fish in alive, detach the lure and send it back on it's merry way. That did not happen so we had another blood bath in our cockpit and even more tuna fillets. You may wonder why that would be a problem - well for those of us who only have essentially an icebox (our freezer block only works when the motor is running and it has been such fantastic sailing I'm afraid we will have to sacrifice a good portion of these fishes :-( Both of us said it almost makes one want to be a vegetarian.

Take care from the middle of the South Pacific Ocean with the best sailing we have ever experienced... and eating tuna sushimi!!

Bill and Cath

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Anaho Bay NE Nuku Hiva

Lat 8 degrees 49 min S


Lon 140 degrees 03 min W

Distant rooster or two; carol of no-name song birds; ripple, ripple, gurgle of water along side; Cathy purring right here and a gentle little swaying motion of the boat. No roll this morning in paradise. Temperature perfect, little breeze wiffles through. Agenda - rest and water, maybe explore the coral reef described right along side and fresh water showers on the beach.

Our best anchorage in the Marquases and one of the finest. Definitely sad and bitter sweet (as it is our last anchorage in this group of beautiful islands) but a wonderful spot to replace our fresh water (first time) and heal our tattoos and my little "Man Flu".

Replenishing our ship's water. I love this as it can now be added to my list of Nautical Traditions of old I have read and dreamed about so often. And it will be classically schlepping jerrry lcans in the dink from beach to boat, back and forth. 20 gallons /trip X5, a labour of love. Off the palm lined beach.

Other traditions I love:

1) LAN, "noon site", latitude calculation from the sun's Meridian Passage each "noon" and the official beginning of each sea day.

2) Rum ration at Dog Watch (after the beer is done).

2) Neptune's Party (we Pollywogs molting into Shellbacks on crossing the Equator).

3) Nightly lowering the ensign and hoisting the "kerosene anchorlight" (Lyn and Larry - thank you!).

4) Hanking on and off our staysail on the heaving foredeck at sea.

5) Tattoos in South Pacific.

6) Racing every sailboat in sight.

But we must refocus on today, explore the coral reef and check out the village ashore that awaits us.

From Anaho Bay we set sail direct for Papeete - 800+ nm (SSW). We have decided to navigate through the Tuamoto's rather than stop and enter some coral atoll through coral atoll entrance using visual navigation, and all the risks attendant. Old sailors, not bold sailors, we be. "Through the Tuamoto's" is bold plenty and this way we avoid further windward tacks i.e. it's downwind for "full n' bye" on the SE Trades for Tahiti we are next bound - someday too soon.

Fair Winds

Billy

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Creating a Village", Rays, Tattoos, and the famous "Green Flash"."

July 23, 2011
Ships Log

Lat 09 degrees 54 min S

Lon 139 degrees 06 min W

In our last stop we watched in action how "it takes a village to raise a child". In this anchorage, the quintessential Tropical Paradise that one thinks of with white sand beaches fringed with swaying coconut palms, gentle surf coming from the turquoise coloured water in the bay...we created a village... a floating village.
Some of the members of the 'floating village' of Hana Moe Noe, Tahuata

There were a number of families and couples whom we had met on their yachts in Atuona, Hiva Oa and again in the Bay of Virgins on Fatu Hiva and we were delighted to find them again in this beautiful bay of Hana Moe Noe on the island of Tahuata. As soon as we arrived people dropped by in their dinghies to say hello and soon each night there were different groups visiting and having drinks, nibblies and shared dinners. The first evening we were there one of our friends, Sheryl, snorkelled over and checked our anchor setting for us while we were visiting with our friends, John and Jason from SV Spirit ( couple of great Australian yachties who were sailing Jason's trimaran back to Eirlie Beach Australia where his friend and crew, John was getting married - after 35 years, John I'd say it's about time!!). Everyone there was eager to help everyone else and the feeling of comradery was so strong. Because our cockpits are so small it is hard for everyone to get together so yesterday someone suggested going to the beach for a big barbeque. Everyone was in for that! Ian from Faraway spent the day beetling from one boat to another making sure everyone was informed and seeing if they needed help ferrying everyone to the beach. Finally, we all made it and had a wonderful time barbequing chicken, sausages, chops on an old metal grill and eating tons of salads and fruit (some of it lying around under the trees behind us!).

Sheryl (the kindly anchor checker) also told us that there were a number of Manta Rays that came to feed in the bay every morning just behind their boat and if we would like they would let us know the next morning where they were. Sure enough, the next morning Ian, Sheryl's husband snorkelled over to tell us that the group of rays were back behind their boat. We hurriedly grabbed our snorkelling gear threw it all in the dinghy and rowed out to where we could see many of our neighbours already swimming. Bill got in the water first as I struggled into my shorty wetsuit and organized all my snorkelling paraphenalila all the time worrying that I would miss them. Finally I slipped into the water and swam over to where everyone had been swimming and motioning to where the rays were swimming. As I got there I was so disappointed since all I could see were a number of small brightly coloured fish but no rays. It looked as though the rays had finished their breakfast... I was so disappointed... then Bill motioned to me to look and there were two rays swooping and swimming with mouths open scooping the plankton as they swam. Wow!!! As they swam away our friend Ian excitedly pointed past my shoulder to behind me. I turned to find a beautiful huge (6 feet wide and 8 feet long) grey and white manta ray gliding straight toward me! Just as she came within an arms length of me she swooped and turned opening her mouth (at least 2 feet when open) and gracefully sliding within inches of me. I put out my hand and her wing lifted just at that moment and we connected... I was able to stroke almost the whole length of her wing and back... I was mesmorized! I had never experienced anything so moving as this... what can one say?
Rowing out to our first "Manta" experience... very exciting!

Sheryl from "Faraway"took this one and all the others of that magic morning.

...closer...

...closer... and then the manta and I touched each other's arms (as it were)!  What an experience!

The next big event was when Bill and I got tattooed on Tahuata!! Yes, can you believe it??? Resolution Bay (yes, the famous Captain Cook named it after his ship, but it was re-named after that by the French to Bay du Potain - or prostitute's bay, which has a huge story behind that one but that story is for another time... and finally it is now Ivavia Nui). We had heard that one of the most talented tattoo artists in all of French Polynesia has his studio there so we took off with our Aussie friends, John and Jason, in their motor dinghy to investigate. Well, the long and the short of it is that all four of us got tattoos by the end of the day!! Yup!! Cathy at the age of 60 now has a beautiful tattoo of... a manta ray on the top of her foot - incredible! Bill's, which is about 6" X 5" is on the back of his right shoulder and it is an incredibly detailed Marquesan stunning design of a whale! These designs are unique and Felix Fiit, the artist creates them with you and each one is totally unique and found nowhere else! As Felix said when I was leaving - we are now part of the 'family of Felix'! I know you are dying to see photos and we will hopefully be able to send some when we get to Nuku Hiva, where we are heading for with the evening tide tonight (after I send off our Sailmail).

Photos yet to come...

As I have been typing this 3 of our friend's have left and 2 more have arrived to add to and change the makeup of this beautiful floating village.

Fair winds

Cath and Bill

.. and another great event tomorrow is Bill's oldest son Willis's birthday... HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILLIS!!!

P.S. Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention that I saw the "Green Flash"!!! ... the story goes that if there are no clouds on the horizon and one watches as the sun drops down below the horizon one just may be lucky enough to spot the Green Flash... AND I DID!! I was so excited but Bill was down below and didn't see it. Luckily Jason from Spirit saw it too... and neither of us had had a spot to drink. That's my story and I am sticking to it!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

ALL PEANUTS - July 19th

Hana Moe Noa Bay , TUHUATA Island, Marquesas

Lat 9 degrees 54 min S
Lon 139 degrees 06 min W

This is paradise, no question. Tropical in the South Pacific and we are here and it is postcard beauty and it is very good.

Sail or laze all day, anchor off white sandy beach, swim, fish and then swap parties throughtout the night with new cruising friends from all over the world. Austrian, Australian, Swiss, American, Brits, Kiwis, Hungarians and us. Everyone from far away and yes just like us. We have lots to talk about, swap sea stories, distant lands and great scare stories.

The Peanuts. After all the above of course we love our boats and I love comparative anatomy. I wanted to compare Terrwyn with the 2 dozen boats with whom we have been watching and gunkholing down wind here in the Marqueses.

Thirty five years ago in NZ I met a similar "cruiser" initially as my patient who had just crossed the Tasman Sea in his yacht. A 29 foot glass sloop. We talked all night i.e. I asked and he answered sailing stories. I was hooked and now we are here in Terrwyn. These boats here are all bigger than Terrwyn. Averaing 43 feet I guess, glass, half are retired charter boats from the Carribean and now very much "off white" i.e. dirty and bruised, littered with stuff on deck after years afloat . We are newly out a whoe 2 months, they are 2 years out. Basic, beaten up working sails all furling gear and an inflatable dinghy with outboards hanging off their painters. They - large, spacious windows; we small portholes.

About 1/3 are big boxy catamarans. Big and loaded with children, no safety anything, minimal visible supervision and scary as heck but they are happy and the young parents relaxed. Power to youth.

The guys all love Terrwyn (we all love everyone else's boats) and its great sport comparing gear. Below decks in the few we have gone below are palatial and lovely. (Terrwyn is a boat, small and largely filled with stuff).. Cathy's eyes have been dilated for sure. But it is amazing these big boats all have water makers, use electronic charts virtually exclusively, generators, no sextants, no paper charts, and no pee bucket that I have seen. Amazing. Out boat is 10 feet 10 inches and our breeboard id 13 feet. These boats are 14 - 16 feet across and 5 feet freeboard at least. We have a tiller and a windvane, they have a big wheel often double wheels and internal electronic auto helms. I grew up reading the Hiscocks' (Wanderers 31-35 feet; the Roths' (Whisper - 35 feet) and the Pardeys' (Serrafyn and Taleisin at 24 and 28 feet) and felt BIG and

Boorish with Terrwyn's lengthy 37 feet, but this generation of boaters are at least 1/2 as big again or double our size and displacement and we look small. Amazing. We are smaller for sure, however every bit or more seaworthy (I believe.) but as my English yachtsman in NZ back when was saying "29 ft - 60 ft yachts in the big open ocean are all peanuts ' big or small'. All just peanuts." Coming from the smallest peanut around... I just love that phrase.

Back to business, just putting about on this boat,

Love
Billy

Howdy from Hanavave Bay (Bay of Virgins) Fatu Hiva

Dear Blog readers,


Howdy from Hanavave Bay (Bay of Virgins) Fatu Hiva

Lat 10 ,28 S

Long 138 30 W

Sorry to been so long quiet ...been lost in paradise here all is well and busy busy "resting" , fixing boat stuff, and exploring Fatu Hiva . Cath will fill in Fatu Hiva details ... great place and we are now even rested and all packed up for an early departure tomorrow AM for Tahuata Island AND Hana Moe Noa Bay.

All is good and we are settling into Cruiser mode working anchor settings,and dinghy details and hanging out only on our own time frame and routines.

Couple of details... Glad to have my suba gear as have used it to check and refine our tandom anchors in the teeth of the williwa gales coming down the moUntain side, replace our prop Zinc (again), and retrieve the speciAL Bucket in 40 Ft of water after I threw it overboard ... OOOPS.

Cath is a monster in the making regular ever ready Bunny visiting all her new Marquesen lady friends and oh yes shopping for Tapa cloth, wood work , fruit and veges. Me I am so happy to have sheets that need whipping, sails to change, and various boat jobs to keep me from going to shore every time. Works great. The July 14th Bastille Celebrations (that happily last the whole month of July have been wonderful and the nightly dancing, drumming, singing and performances amazing.

But I will leave that for Co-cap our Communications Officer.

YOurs in Paradise,

Billy

Hi everyone!

We have been having such a wonderful time here in Hanavave Baie on Fatu Hiva. We were here all by ourselves last Thursday and so were able to go ashore and get to know many of the wonderful Marquesans who live in Hanavave = a small community of about 200 people about 80 of which are children. They live the phrase "It takes a village to raise a child." One little girl told me she had 3 mothers... We have watched as the whole community has gathered by the sea to play volleyball, soccer, bingo, set up little food huts for people to order "barbecue" meat with frites (my favourite was the one with Roquefort sauce!! Unhuh!!! My least favourite was the poisson with rice (small red fish ...raw... chopped up with bones, fins, tail and eyes all included and served in a fermented coconut milk sauce over rice- the eyes were particularly big for such a small fish and made eating quite an adventure avoiding their gaze!!!).

We have had 5 days in absolute paradise!! It is like living in the Bouchart Gardens with an idyllic little village of tiny huts, backyard animals, located beside a lovely stream and dotted with coconut trees, banana trees,mango trees, papaya trees and then of course the flowering bushes of frangipani, hibsicus, magnolia and all of the plants and ferns that I have always attempted to grow as house plants in Calgary. The jungle has no biting insects, there are no poisonous bugs or creepy crawlies... there are no large predators, no rats, nothing bad on this island!! Unbelievable!! Oh no - there is one stinging insect - a very large wasp that are not very numerous and are so slow flying that one can usually avoid them. Now, did I ever tell you that Bill has an anaphelactic allergy to wasp stings?? We were visiting on one of our fellow cruisers boats (a very cool trimaran) when Bill felt something on his back, took a swipe at it and... yup!! he got stung on his hand!. Now despite having taken over a year of de-sensitizing shots he started to react and luckily we had all the intravenous paraphenalia that he needed. So, sitting around the corner of the dock Bill shot up and then I rowed him back to the boat where he could sleep it off. Luckily it worked and he was right as rain the next day. (oh and while Bill slept I was able to row back to the village and have a lovely time visiting with all my new Marquesan friends). Phew! That was a close one...

Having been sailing for over 6 weeks without being able to replenish our fresh food supply we have been craving fresh fruit and my, my we have come to the right place! The fruit that is in season right now is pamplemousse (delicious sweet grapefruit - that must suffer from a thyroid problem they are so huge!), oranges, citrus (limes and lemons), a few papayas were big enough and I illegally pulled a couple off as we were on our walk - everything here belongs to someone so one must ask permission to pick fruit - I quickly stuffed them in Bill's back pack and no one was the wiser. Yesterday we walked up the steep hills that surround our bay and at the top were able to take photos of Terrwyn with our zoom lens.

We were searching for a 200 ft waterfall that was supposed to be spectacular to visit and swim in the pool at the bottom ,, though very difficult to find. True to the description - it was very hard to find and it was spectacular once we found it (back down the hill and through the jungle clambering over roots and huge rocks through mud and finally to the waterfall. The swim in the beautifully clean fresh though cold water was a treat (even for me who hates cold water!!).

We came ashore last night to enjoy the traditional Marquesan dancing and singing = these people are the Welsh of the South!! Everyone sings and everyone knows their part of the harmony. They play ukeleles and drums - and today groups of men and women were sitting singing under the palm



trees or at the side of the fishing outriggers. I went over and joined in with one group and hummed my altpart - then one of the men let me look at his home made uke - with 8 strings, 4 pairs and the hole was in the back of the instrument!! It sounded like the cross between a banjo and a ukelele. I so want to find one of those to buy for us!!

We have taken hundreds of photos and many video and can't wait to share them with you. We will try to do that but probably not until we get to civilized Papeete in Tahiti.

Well, must get back to paradise now - love to you all and wish you were here!!

Love from Cath and Bill on Terrwyn in Tropical Paradise.

Safely Anchored in Taahuku Bay

Big News from us... We have made landfall!!! We are now safely anchored in Taahuku Bay on the South side of Hiva Oa (lat 09 degrees 48 min S Lon 139 degrees 02 min W) and have contacted our Pacific Yacht Service person (Sandra)on VHF who is so helpful (she even is getting our laundry done for us!). Monday morning we meet her at the dinghy dock at 7:30 am and she will take us to the Gendarmerie in Atuona for our official entry paperwork and money paying. In most countries one must not leave one's boat if one has not done the official customs etc. paperwork... not here... even though we are flying the yellow quarantine burgee (which we must do until all paper work is done) we are allowed to go ashore...

Let me back up a bit though, before I talk about our first step on solid land. The whole night sailing on our approach to Hiva Oa was the wildest night with rain storm after rain storm (not just little squalls) and winds of 20-25 knots and seas of 2-3 metres... both of us had to be on close watch 3hours at a time. When daylight finally came Bill was on watch and we should have been able to see it but all there was were clouds... and then he saw a bit of land and he won the prize... first one to see land gets an extra beer when we get to the village. After the initial excitement of seeing land and watching in awe as the clouds lifted we could see more and more of the tall sentinels of peaks of the tropical island that we were approaching. We still had a few hours of difficult sailing beating against the wind with huge waves and big winds... and we did it! We sailed along the coast of the island with Stan Rogers playing full blast and Bill dancing in the cockpit (it's tricky avoiding those stamping feet in such close quarters!). At the entrance of the outer bay we had to drop the sails and turn on the motor... not a small task with the huge waves breaking across our bow... so with Bill out on the bow taking down the storm staysail I was on the tiller manouvering through those waves and then Bill yells back to me to fall off (that doesn't mean to fall of the boat!! It means to head downwind) and then turn on the motor and head into the bay. Yeah right!! Not in those waves!! I was scared stiff so I pretended I didn't hear him and waited until he got back to the safety of the cockpit and then we both worked the tiller and the turning on the motor... and that wasn't the end of it! As we came into the little bay and motored around the boats already anchored there one of the guys on a big catamaran yelled over to us that he had lost two anchors on a wreck that was nearby. We then carefully dropped our anchor in the fairly rolly water and then set a stern anchor wo we wouldn't swing into anyone else in such close quarters. Despite all of our care we have had to move a couple of times and reset the anchors and the result of that is that our stern anchor is now a permanent mooring buoy in this little bay - a gift from us to the island!

OK enough of sailing stuff... I know you are dying to know what our first step on land was like... well, first Bill took the dinghy over to the dinghy dock so that Sandra's husband could pick up our laundry and Bill checked out what was there... we could see a few buildings near the dock. He came back saying that there were showers and we should go and have a shower and then head off for the village of Atuona a couple of kilometres away. I was very reluctant to leave the boat saying oh why the rush - why don't we wait and go tomorrow - very weird... for some strange reason I did not want to leave the boat!! After some sweet talk Bill persuaded me to get in the dinghy and at least come and have a shower so off we headed for my first step on land. As I jumped out of the dinghy to help drag it up the dock I felt the land moving! Yes, the land was rolling and I was having to hang onto Bill to keep myself steady. Unbelievable! Anyway I got a bit steadier on my feet and we headed for the showers... they turned out to be a line of holes along a rusty horizontal pipe about 10 feet high and one turns all of them on and stands on a very nice concrete floor and lets the water stream down. All of this was just on the side of the mud and gravel dock where we dragged our dinghy out of the water. It was very primitive but felt like heaven with the endless supply of cool fresh water flowing over me as I soaped and shampooed my body and hair (wearing a bathing suit). Once I finished showering Bill was turning off the tap as I stepped down off the platform (about a six inch step)... and the world tipped just at that moment and I fell right over, full freshly showered body, right into the muddy road... Bill watched the whole thing in speechless shock as I lay there in the mud. His first thought was thank goodness it was not his fault and secondly that it looked like I was OK just really muddy and helpless so he raced over and helped me up for my second shower of the day (during which I hung onto Bill as the world finished rocking and rolling). We both still laugh about that and I know we will always have a giggle about that scene of me wallowing in the mud as helpless as a tipped over turtle!

On Tues, July 12 we left Hiva Oa and had one of the most beautiful day of sailing of our lives! Despite us having to beat windward it was fabulous and we spent the day luxuriating in a brisk breeze clear blue skies, warm sun on our bare backs and our destination of Fatu Hiva (the most southerly of the Marquesas Islands on the horizon). We arrived at the island of Fatu Hiva in the Bay of Havivave (Ha-vi-va-vay) or the Bay of Virgins (named by the Catholic Priests of long ago) or more correctly The Bay of Penises - because of the uniquely shaped spires surrounding the bay (Yes!!) purported to be the most beautiful bay in the world... and we heartlily agree!! We are in the most beautiful place and in the world!! Today is Bastille Day (July 14th) and hence huge celebrations all over French Polynesian, and one of the best with traditional dancing and food will be here - and even better is that we will be the only white faces at the party!! Yes, both boats that are here with us have to leave to check in with the Gendarmes at Hiva Oa today and will miss the celebrations here with us... what an experience for us.
I will stop now as I know you have all been wondering what we have been doing!! It is hard to find time to send off these notes but I will try to do it as often as possible (still haven't been able to get internet to send photos... will still try).
Much love

from Cath and Bill in Tropical Paradise of Fatu Hiva

Friday, July 15, 2011

Phone call from Fatu Hiva

Dear Readers,

I just recieved communication from Cathy and Bill via Cam (Cathy's son).  All is well...
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Hi Gord,


This morning I looked down at my phone as it rang to see my moms name pop up on the caller ID! They have arrived at the Marquesas safe and sound but the only form of communication available to them is Mom's iPhone (possible advert there- will talk to apple). They wanted me to send you a short update to be passed on to their friends and family.

They were moored at Fatu Hiva but as of that call had not yet stepped onto land. Later they planned on visiting the island to celebrate Bastille Day in the village and take in some traditional food & drink. Since they are so far south in the island group and it's not a point of entry they will be the only white people in the village.

Bill also let me know that the Bay of Virgins was initially called the Bay of Verges (Penis) due to the phallus shaped rock formations on either side of it. That prude Captain Cook or his band of missionaries thought that name too unsavoury and changed it to Vierges which people now just call Virgins which makes much less sense. He also mentioned a 5' Manta Ray followed their boat for the end of the journey there.

They will hopefully have access to some form of communication soon.

Hope you are doing well and please say hi to Rhonda and the kids.

Cam

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Where is Fatu Hiva?

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=-10.4833,-138.6333&ll=-10.483761,-138.633728&spn=0.135037,0.213203&t=h&lci=org.wikipedia.en&z=12

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Voyage of Trust

Ship's Log Wed July 6
Lat 7 degrees 29 min S

Lon 138 degrees 52 min W

Heading for our waypoint at Lat 09 degrees 45 min S Lon 138 degrees 45 min W where we will tack and sail nm until we reach our first landfall...that of Atuona, Hiva Oa of the Marquesas Islands!

A Voyage of Trust

Two major events each illustrating the polar end of trust, in my mind, have occured quite late in this 5 week leg of our voyage that have made a profound impact on my thinking, my perspective and yes, even my life! Not to appear to be too full of navel gazing I did want to share with you some of my thoughts!

The first event happened one beautiful evening just at dusk (which does not last long here in the tropics) as Bill and I were enjoying a quiet time in the cockpit almost mezmerized by the long rolling swells that were rocking us almost to sleep. All of a sudden one of our bird friends, this one was a fairly large - 18 inch wing span- Shearwater flew very close to us following wing stroke by wind stroke to our port beam... beautiful as he flew confidently forward yet eyeing us as he kept pace. All of a sudden he headed up and as I stood up to follow his path I watched as he attempted to land on one of our mast steps near the very top of the mast. He would swoop near the mast and stall to attempt a landing then flutter to the side as the mast swung past him...me holding my breath until I saw him safe. He did this a couple of times getting closer to his target each time then, to my horror I watched as he made a final brave effort to perch on the top step... just as the boat and hence the mast rolled wildly toward him!! I yelled out at him as I watched with heart in my throat the mast strike him very heavily on the side of his body and wing... down he went plunging into the sea just aft of our stern landing heavily in our stern wash. Both Bill and I sat paralyzed unable to help watching as he struggled to bring his damaged wing close to his body. To our great relief he was able to get his wind back, wing tucked in, take a few breaths to recover then slowly fly away close to the waves... we watched as he flew out of sight seemingly getting stronger as he went. This poor bird had so much trust in his deep belief in a steady perch staying where he trusted it to be... and a near tragedy happened.

Surely he will put this lesson in his brain when he next decides to trust a moving perch. Learning to trust with a pinch of salt can be a good thing too.

The second event was not at all dramatic and, in fact, it was something that we had been living with for at least three weeks before I noticed it .. our gimballed stove in the galley. To give you a bit of background I will explain that our stove is on gimbals which allow it to swing freely with the movement of the boat. In fact sometimes it swings so well to counteract the heeling of the boat that one finds it holding at 45 degrees or more. You can well imagine how startling this might be and what the cook who might be in the middle of, let's say, boiling a big pot of water for a nice pasta dish for dinner... might be tempted to do... uhuh ... automatic response is to steady that ol' stove and get it even right???

Luckily this cook did not grab at it but was so traumatized by it and was sure that our stove was misbehaving - I mean it is not possible that cooking pots should be swinging so wildly. I decided to create a nice little brake which would not allow the stove to swing beyond a certain point... so I loosely tied a teatowel from the stove to the steady bar in front of it. It worked... sort of (my bread came out with a huge bulge on the lee side of the loaf...funny thing that!)... and nothing spilled... then one day I forgot to tie on the towel'brake' having put a pot of stew on to cook and I headed up to the cockpit to enjoy a pre-dinner drink with the crew. As I glanced down at the stove during one particularly severe heel of the boat I watched holding my breath as the stove took off - swinging at an unbelievably steep angle... and I noticed with disbelief that the surface of the stew was level and cheerily bubbled away as though it were not almost perpendicular to me!! I could not believe it but I decided not to use the buffer teatowel when I put the water on for the pasta and... guess what??? Yup! Same thing happened - boiling pot of water, boat heels sharply and pot of boiling water happily stays even! Needless to say since that time I have not tied up our stove and I could trust to let nature do its thing.

Since those two events of the testing of trust I have noticed many events in this voyage of ours that require trust... sometimes blind trust.

Trust in our boat Terrwyn that she will not flip over when holding an almost impossible to believe point of heel or fall apart with the incredible forces of wind and waves... trust in our brave and knowledgeable co-cap Bill with the decisions he makes while on watch while I am sleeping peacefully below decks... trust that I can go out (well harnessed in with double tethers at all time) and do my turn in our daily check all around our Terrwyn... trust in the fact that even though we have seen only rolling waves (at times along with huge swells) for weeks on end that yes we will eventually come to land... trust the charts that show the location of those tiny pinpoints that apparently represent our destination... trust the Pacific Seafarers Net that they (volunteer ham radio operators all over the world) are there waiting to hear from us each evening and will take steps to inquire if we do not check in at our regular time... trust that the messages we send through Sailmail and Spot will get to the appropriate destinations... and finally trust that our family and friends have not forgotten us (thanks to our relentless BB - Blog Boy- Gord).

In trust I will now sign off (listening to Placido Domingo with the swoosh of waves in the background as a soundtrack to this voyage).

Cath - with Bill on watch in the cockpit, trusting that I won't go on too long with this little entry :-)

Now a few words from Billy:

White horses, right. We got them and had them now for seems ages, maybe a week "to windward".

She rises to the Waves and feels definitely Alive. The crew (captains) are losing a little weight (which in my case is a good thing) but gaining cute little bruises most everywhere.

Never pooh-pooh the Equitorial Current setting west, just as we do our best to eke out a few minutes of easting. But this too shall pass and we'll turn right and ride the seas to the west.

Terrwyn continues to teach and we do our best to learn her and the ocean's way. It's still infatuation with these variables but enough for now the Polynesian culture and Islands are not far away!!

Your Billy

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

High Noon... Wine with dinner day!

Sunday, July 3rd
Ship's Log

Lat 6 degrees 20 min S

Lon 139 degrees 57 min W
Cathy writes:

We have just come through a very tumultuous night of one squall after another rolling through which made for a very noisy violent ride all night (with calm in between which allowed us to fall back to sleep between squalls). The good news is that we stayed right on course (thanks to crew members Monti and Tilly and particularly Cap'n Billy who set up the perfect sail combo and trim).

We knew that we would have to tack to be able to head on a good course for Atuona, Hiva Oa ... our destination in the Marquesas. It seems weird that we are now heading ENE!!! All instincts scream out NOOOOOOOOooooo... WRONG WAY! But our (read Billy's) careful planning shows clearly that we need to do this tack (oh my gosh! one tack in three weeks!! - just not used to all this activity!!).

We have decided to put on the engine for a couple of hours so that our freezer unit will do it's work freezing numerous bottles of freshly filtered fresh water so that we can keep our necessary foodstuffs (read beer!!) nice and cold even with the refrigerator unit turned off (it powers only through the boat engine running)! Makes for a very noisy and deisel smelling ride but oh so worth it in the end.

We are doing very well and have contacted our 'people' (Pacific Yacht Services that dave and Rhonda Mancini put us on to - yet again another HUGE thanks to Dave and Rhonda!!). Our PYS point person is Laurent on Tahiti who is guiding us through all the eport entry paper work, accessing duty-free fuel etc. and we will be contacting Sandra also of PYS (VHF Channel 11) as we approach Atuona. Having them there waiting for us is an absolute blessing... so nice to know that there are people expecting us to show up! We are also thankful to Dan and Alice who told us about the Pacific Seafarers Net for whom I prepare a report for each night at 0300 Zulu time (8pm BC PST) and they enter all of our particulars into a database that is available for others to use (you may want to check out Yotreps as that is one place that our nightly report goes to - search by our vessel name SV Terrwyn or our call sign VE0WCN - and 0 is the digit zero...).

That's it for now...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thank you Everybody!

July 1st
Ships log
Lat 03 degrees 15 min S

Lon 138 degrees 14 min W

Thank you Everybody!

Hello aagain from Terrwyn in the South Pacific! Course 190 degrees True, Speed 6.3 kts Canada day!!!
Our daily routine opens 8-9 am (BC time) with OJ, coffee and Jerry J. Walker. This is a tearful moment for me as my Poppa passed away just a week before we left and he was my personal mentor and older male go to guy, great friend and started me out on this adventure. Art Jones was a great man and I only wish you were reading this. Thank youPoppa. I miss you so.

The sails are now re-set, re-focussed fiddled, tuned, trimmed, walked about and admired.

Our kids are all flown and out there. Angie and nick are coming to Papeete for the duration of the voyage. Sorry Cam, Eric and Willis but your guys are here with us always. Mikey, thanks so much. You have been here and remain to be our closest contact. And Phillip thanks for being there. Gerry and work buddies thanks for giving us this LOA in so many ways. Please say hi to our team for me... is it all the big and half the small  syringe or the other way around?  Gord our Blog Boy a HUGE ongoing thanks to you!! Dan and Alice we love you and scorpio with Shaula at the stinger is in full glory as we keep hoping to hear Shaula's name story. Dave and Rhonda ... the mallet, black bucket, and zinc oxide cream are all golden... thanks! Randy's satellite is here as is our Bolivian mega tea kettle and our bivvy overbag from Foster is a middle night watch staple. I think about our alpine trips daily and below decks are now approaching our advanced camp in macho roughness only here everything is wet, sticky and in perpetual motion. Uncle Iain and Aunty Iris and extended Yusep, Mcleod, Hopkins clan thank you for our Catherine and for being so supportive. Brothers Jim and Don howdy guy. Boatyard Alan TY! Of course Chrissy and Dick for Lively lady II and our visits on Brown Island. Hasse and crew, Christian and BToss, and the entire Blackline Gang - great jobs. We appreciate all the TLC and CC berth. Peter J. this is your vessel. I cannot recount the umpteen projects your skilled hands have done and the good times we've had aboard. APM community - Diane, Howard, Merle and Karie. It was secure and fun to be part of your neighbourhood. TY. CRH - thanks guys for the work and time with you expecially David and bev, Richard and Carole.

There, sorry for the oversights no doubt.

We are now calculating our expected first landfall in less than one week.

It's been a boisterous few days pounding south into these 2 mtr SE swells... everything is wet and sticky with all hatches and portholes are closed protection from the perpetual spray, We keep hoping for a lift (backing breeze) but not looking hopeful. We got an extra 5-10 kts of SE wind last night which forced us to turn down and reach a touch SW but at 7 kts its was a wild ride nevertheless and we will likely need to throw in a tack back East to 137 degrees West for our final approach to Hiva Oa. Calm will be nice.

The flying fish are everywhere... red-tailed Tropicbirds, Storm Petrels, Shearwaters are our little buddies.

That's about it for today. Thanks to all readers for suffering through my thanks.

Yours

Co-cap Billy