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Monday, July 26, 2010

How to get from 'The Great White North' to 'Down Under' OR Planning the South Pacific Route

 We are back in Calgary and the weather is sunny and warm - just great for sailing... hmmmmmm... oh well, instead of 'doing' we are busily 'dreaming' (all you Bluewater Cruising Association members will know all about those terms!).  Doers, Dreamers, Doners!

When we first started thinking about this trip the timeline of six months seemed like an eternity to be sailing... and definitely enough time to visit and enjoy the few little islands along our way to New Zeland.  Not so much!  Since getting down to the nitty gritty of planning the details of our trip it now seems somehow reminiscent of what planning "How to see Europe in 6 days" must be like!

We've been pouring over books that provide details of the islands, anchorages, harbours, points of interest and helpful hints that we might want to experience.  Here's a couple of tomes that we have found that have some helpful info.

 Landfalls of Paradise, Fifth Edition by Earl R. Hinz and Jim Howard - covers all the areas we are interested in, and more!  Gives a good overview.

South Pacific Anchorages, Second Edition,  South Pacific Anchorages by Warwick Clay - provides another perspective of the islands and includes the Chart references for each island described.  Sketches of the anchorages with details of specific positions for anchoring and navigational hazards will be really helpful.

Yikes!!  After spending hours researching and reading what there is to explore how can we possibly fit in all we want to see and do in that miniscule amount of time???  Well - we'll try our best!

We've now come up with our latest "5 minute plan" - (a favourite saying of Bill's to provide an easy escape from the plan that can totally change within 5 minutes from it's initial inception :-)

Planning Itinerary for the Voyage of Catherine and William 2011
May 1, 2011  Leave Quadra Island :-(  and travel down the East coast of Vancouver Island,

stopping at:

Comox - what a great little marina they have!  The last time we were there we had invitations to a concert at the Yacht Club the evening we arrived;  neighbours volunteered to drive us to the local gas station when we put our empty propane tank on the dock in readiness for lugging it up the hill in a marina cart; interest in and admiration of our beautiful cruising boat (Bill loved that!!) etc. ;

Silva Bay, Gabriola Island-
This is another wonderful, hidden away little marina that we have stayed at when we were first delivering our 'baby' to her home on Quadra... it's hard to believe that was only one and a half years ago... it seems like we've had her forever!

Then we will scoot on down to Canoe Cove (near Sydney, Vancouver Island)... and...
Canoe Cove Marina, Sydney B.C.

during the month of May Co-Cap'n Catherine will be living on Terrwyn there provisioning the boat while Bill will be toiling away back in Calgary trying to top up the coffers... both of us will be madly working so that we have what we need to live on during our time away.  Gulp!!

The details and practicalities of filling a boat with the necessities of life for two people for six months both canned and other foodstuffs and all other provisions (how much tp will two people need for six months, anyway???)...

...may seem a daunting task but, as with anything, once one breaks it down step by step... or in this case can by can...  but that is grist for the mill for another posting.

OK now back to "the plan"...

Finally... TA DAAAAAAAA...  Begins our trip to the South Pacific

Leave Canoe Cove and Vancouver Island June 1, 2011(or the closest date to a good weather window!!)

Sails of Terrwyn

July 7 – ish  (Add -ish to all dates included in this itinerary as the worst thing a cruiser can do is adhere to a schedule.  Problems, often fatal, can occur when one takes unnecessary risks just to meet a deadline.  Time, weather, sea conditions etc. are all dependent on each other and cruisers need to attend to the most important issue - SAFETY!)  Enough lecturing...on with the fun of dreaming!

After 5-6 weeks at sea we hope to spy landfall and what a landfall it will be!:

Arrive in the Marquesas Islands which is the eastern most group of islands of French Polynesia.   Boats can check in with the officials at the port of entry in one of the Marquesas Islands, Nuku Hiva, to get permission to spend time in French Polynesia which includes quite a large area...avoiding the busier and, some say, ruder officials of Papeete, Tahiti - (OK if you are reading this and you happen to be a port of entry official in Papeete, Tahiti - I don't mean you!!) and then spend the next 4-6 weeks exploring the islands and atolls of the Marquesas:      

Nuku Hiva

Ua Pou
  Hiva Oa

Fatu Hiva
                                          OK - I think you get the idea... Tropical Paradise!!

August 15-ish (alright, I know, you get it!  It's not written in stone...)    Leave the Marquesas for Society Islands ... the largest island of this group being Tahiti (we are still in French Polynesia)!


Check in at Papeete - not for long as it is very commercialized and expensive.  There is even an International Airport here...mmmmm... maybe just long enough to possibly pick up another crew member ;-D 
Papeete, Tahiti

Other islands in this group that are on our wish list are: Moorea then possibly Bora Bora; Huahine Island (closest of the leeward isands to Tahiti - 90 miles to NW); Raiatea; Tahaa; Toapui Island...

Are you beginning to see our dilemma??
Leave French Polynesia September 7          Arrive September 15 (remember... ISH!) 

A typical Rarotongan beach

    Check in with officials at the entry port for Cook Islands which is Rarotonga.  The name Rarotonga means "in the direction of the prevailing wind, south," the place where the chief of Atiu promised early explorers they would find an island. It's fairly small, just 31 km around.
Scuba diving on Rarotonga features coral drop-offs, canyons, caves, walls, sharks, wrecks, and swim-throughs. All beaches on the island are public.

(By the way, this is the favourite holiday spot of our friend, Linda Steen, who is there, as we speak!  She goes there for 3-4 weeks every second year.   I know she will have many nuggets of info for us of things to see and do when in the Cook Islands!  Hey Linda - bring us back a beautiful sea shell to carry on Terrwyn and we'll take it back to it's home.)

   Leave    Cook Islands September 23           Arrive beginning of October - Tonga
Vavau –(group of islands)

The Vava'u (pronounced "vav-ah-oo") Group of islands lies 240km (150 miles) north of Tongatapu and is the northernmost of Tonga's three island groups. It is fairly isolated and many of the local people live a traditional subsistence lifestyle, owning small farms and serving most of their needs from what they produce. This group of 50 or so thickly wooded islands has excellent diving, with visibility often as much as 30m (100ft). Vava'u is also popular for the fabulous beaches, swimming, snorkelling, and reef viewing and is a Mecca for sport fishing and big game fishing.
Local attractions include the Fangatongo Royal Residence, the view from Mount Talau and Sailoame Market in Neiafu, the main town.

We have found some incredible information about the area at the Tonga Cruising Guide
My question is:  what did people do before the internet???

Leave Tonga  October 15  Arrive early November – Whangerei, North Island, New Zealand
Final Destination!

 Both Bill and I have lived in New Zealand - I have dual citizenship (NZ/Canadian) -but, even though I lived in Dunedin on South Island for six years I had never explored north of Auckland - I know, shame, shame Cathy!  Bill, on the other hand lived in New Zealand for only one year and seemed to have found time to even live and work for a bit in Dargaville, Northland  (if you look on the map you will see it on the east coast of Northland).     
We hope to buy a little car for our time there and tour around the tropical part of New Zealand!  Of course we will cruise Terrwyn to Bay of Islands and discover some of the beautiful little bays that abound that north eastern coast of New Zealand.  
Once we are in the Bay of Islands I will have our crew take a photo of Bill and I swimming around Terrwyn...just like this!
Whangarei is where we plan to leave our sweet Terrwyn, on the hard, in one of the boatyards where she will await our return!

November 29 - no ISH this time :-(    Leave for Calgary

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Preparation Step #7 - Sailing, sailing and more sailing!

After recovering from our re-naming/de-naming celebrations our next big training opportunity was to be a full seven days of sailing in North Georgia Strait and Desolation Sound.  The latter is a destination that sailors from afar come to enjoy and we are lucky enough to have it at our back door!  How lucky we are! 

Before our big trip we had done a few days of sailing after Terrwyn came off "the hard" during which time while unfurling the jib my foot rolled off a sheet lying on the cockpit locker (where I was standing) and I crashed down smashing my ribs (not to mention a nice bonk on the noggin!!) on the side of the cockpit.  Since then I've been hampered by the pain (literally) of a number of broken ribs.  Note to self: make sure all sheets and lines are freshened immediately after use (i.e. as an old sailing captain I once knew used to say "ship shape in Bristol style!") and also perhaps think about wearing appropriate footwear (or ideally no footwear) so one can feel what one is standing on.  Oh well, that did not stop us from having a great time Sailing the Sound! 
Here's a clip of Co-Cap William enjoying one of the few times he was able to be on the helm (they don't call me Helm Hog for nothing!)... OK don't ask me why I decided to turn the camera on it's side part way through this video - I don't know maybe the broken ribs thingy affected my brain!

Now here are a few salty words from Captain William describing some of the highlights of our trip:

 Co - cap William  here

            We are just back from a full week of sailing, frankly training and putting Terrwyn through her paces in and about Desolation Sound. This was a major shakedown cruise for all three of us. She, Terrwyn, has been demo-ing "her" own personality and nature throughout (they don't name boats after girls by accident).  It's a matter of : presence, lines, movement, beauty, speed, curves, weight, toughness, forgiveness, proportions, and dare I say, possession and loyalty...  and did I mention love.

             Items on our agenda last week included flying our light air sails to storm sails all with Monti (Scanmar's Monitor Servo-Pendulum Windvane) doing his magic. (In this photo Monti does not have his 'sail' which is normally attached ).
Monti is our third crew and essential sailor. The windvane is a quintessential component to offshore sailing with a small crew and a totally new item of sailing where I had no experience. It is an amazing tool and  after a little practice and review with the folks at Scanmar we are up and sailing on all points of sail and with several different sail combinations.  All of which is a huge relief and puts joy in my heart. 
We also flew the Trysail ( a smaller, loose footed mainsail alternative, essentially a storm mainsail ) the "Try" has never been hoisted in 20 years and came to us with Lively Lady's initial wardrobe. We had Hasse and Co, of Port Townsend Sails, re-finish her, add a third row of stitching, a visibility patch and upgrade the luff slugs and tack/clew cringles. It has its own luff track and halyard to starboard of the main track. This allows us to put the main sail to bed under cover and lash the boom on the gallows which adds huge security to all crew below in the cockpit or on the deck. Then if flown with the spinnaker, accidental jibes are frankly a no big deal and increases the safe breeze angle of attack, as well as keeping the center of effort well forward faciliating Monti's job of keeping us on track from aft. The "Try" gives stability in taking down the spinnaker  and saves the main's integrity for another day, beautiful, fun, safe and easy but lots of sail area to drive the boat in light airs to love it.  
The Try's other surprise finding was its ability in balancing the Storm Staysail to windward. The two together keep the center of effort amidships, the tiller 3 degrees to windward and trucking along 2-3 knots in 10 knots of apparent breeze! Once again a smooth, secure, easy and gentle ride...  a definite rest possibility in blusterous conditions.  I can't barely wait to fly these two beauties in 25 K  plus breeze.

During a quiet spell we deployed the 9 ft diameter para-sail sea anchor with its 300 ft  5/8 inch nylon rode and stern bridle to turn Terrwyn's bow 50 degrees off the predominate wave train.

      This is one of the ultimate storm tactics in addition to heaving to which we hope to never have to use. Now at least this manoeuvre is not a complete novelty to us and in our tool chest down below to stay we trust. 

It looked like a surreal giant sea monster jelly fish when fully opened ... I couldn't stop snapping shots of it as it drifted out from the bow!
 We found we could easily empty the chute by pulling on a couple of the lines and quickly drag it back on board when finished.  Easy-peasy!
 Each night, at anchorages, we would drop the 45lb CQR anchor and raise it without incident via the  new  H-3 Lewmar horizontal windlass.  It worked like a dream and we tried out the manual override so again, hopefully, we will not have to use it again and it was good.  
Sparrow's bridle was next set up and we repeatedly hoisted the Sparrow in and  out of the ocean as well as having her own sail setup and sailed about Grace Harbour, Gorge Harbour and Prideaux Haven - great fun. 
Cathy swam about in her wet suit and looked great broken wing and all...

That's  about  all that happened  and aside from stripping off old stain and applying new stain on Terrwyn's gunnels and polishing the brass  it was a major relaxation holiday in perfect weather as the Pacific High finally drifted over to include BC and we were there!!  
Yahoooo!!...  as we are now back in Calgary keeping the other home front going ....till our next visit to our shiny new baby sailing machine.
Fair leads,
                    Co Cap Billy,
      S/V Terrwyn

I think Co-Cap William is beginning to enjoy adding his thoughts to these blogs... good job! 

Well... until we next "See you when we see you"...

Fair winds
Co-Caps Catherine and William

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Denaming and Renaming

Wow!  Lots has happened since I last wrote - sorry it's been so long... but here it is - what I've been promising...

We have been very busy with the serious business of changing the name of our precious boat ...  Her name is now officially "Terrwyn" of Welsh origins (both Bill and I have Welsh heritage) meaning "brave, fair one"; the three armed spiral logo is an ancient gaelic Triskelion symbolizing the power of forward progress and representing, among others, three major forces of air, water and earth (if you want to learn more about this fascinating ancient symbol you may want to go to this link ):

 Our denaming happened on Canada Day - so it was very important in many ways!  Bill and I performed this little ceremony (thanks for your added research on this, Cam) alone and in the privacy of our boat - just the three of us, William, Catherine and the Lady...

After first making sure that all items with the old name of "Lively Lady II" were removed and any old markings completely and permanently destroyed we stated outloud:

"In the name of all who have sailed aboard this ship in the past, and in the name of all who may sail aboard her in the future, we invoke the ancient gods of the wind and the sea to favor us with their blessing today.
"Mighty Neptune, king of all that moves in or on the waves; and mighty Aeolus (pronounced EE-oh-lus), guardian of the winds and all that blows before them:
"We offer you our thanks for the protection you have afforded this vessel in the past. We voice our gratitude that she has always found shelter from tempest and storm and enjoyed safe passage to port.
"Now, wherefore, we submit this supplication, that the name whereby this vessel has hitherto been known Lively Lady II, be struck and removed from your records.
"Further, we ask that when she is again presented for blessing with another name, she shall be recognized and shall be accorded once again the selfsame privileges she previously enjoyed.
"In return for which, we rededicate this vessel to your domain in full knowledge that she shall be subject as always to the immutable laws of the gods of the wind and the sea.
"In consequence whereof, and in good faith, we seal this pact with a libation offered according to the hallowed ritual of the sea."

We then wrote the old name on a piece of paper, placed it in a little cardboard box and put it to flame (as it were!)... and tossed the ashes to the ebbing tide...

As we spoke the words and tossed her ashes tears came to our eyes - farewell to our Lively Lady ...


her former name now gone ... forward we go!  Onward and upward!

 It is said that one must wait 1 Day to allow the name purge from the Ledger of the Deep ... and so we did!

At the end of the next day, July 2,  we held our big renaming ceremony to which we had invited guests (one of whom is Lucy, the Wheaten Terrier who is owner of our friends David and Bev from Campbell River, see below with Co-Cap Catherine) to witness to and assist in celebrating our newly named Terrwyn...

Co-Captain Catherine and ceremony guest, Lucy.

The Renaming Ceremony

Co- Captains William and Catherine Norrie performed the following ceremony on July 2, 2010 to rename their sailing vessel:
Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, implore you in your graciousness to take unto your records and recollection this worthy vessel hereafter and for all time known as Terrwyn, guarding her with your mighty arm and trident and ensuring her of safe and rapid passage throughout her journeys within your realm.
In appreciation of your munificence, dispensation and in honor of your greatness, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court. (At this point, one bottle of Champagne, less one glass for the master and one glass for the mistress was poured into the sea from West to East.) - much to the awe of the audience...

The next step in the renaming ceremony is to appease the gods of the winds. This will assure you of fair winds and smooth seas. Because the four winds are brothers, it is permissible to invoke them all at the same time, however, during the ceremony; you must address each by name.
Begin in this manner:

Oh mighty rulers of the winds, through whose power our frail vessels traverse the wild and faceless deep, we implore you to grant this worthy vessel Terrwyn the benefits and pleasures of your bounty, ensuring us of your gentle ministration according to our needs.

(We faced north and poured a generous libation of Champagne into a Champagne flute and fling to the North as we intoned:) Great Boreas, exalted ruler of the North Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your frigid breath.
(We faced west, pour the same amount of Champagne and fling to the West while intoning:) Great Zephyrus, exalted ruler of the West Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your wild breath.
(Faced east, repeat and fling to the East.) Great Eurus, exalted ruler of the East Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your mighty breath.
(Faced south, repeat, flinging to the South.) Great Notus, exalted ruler of the South Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your scalding breath.
We then greeted our guests by introducing them to our newly named vessel  Terrwyn...

The Celebratory Feast

After the renaming ceremony we all trooped up to a little meadow over looking the marina (can you see Terrwyn in the midst of the other boats with her Triskelion banner proudly flying?)

and enjoyed a wonderful barbeque of hamburgers, corn on the cob, potato salad, green salad and an assortment of delicious desserts catered by April Point Marina.

 Bill with guests David and Bill...

 ...Karolyn, Mike...
 Paul and others...

Our wonderful "Wharfie", Kari, was our chief cook during the evening -

 She claimed that she had as much fun as we all did as we made sure she had constant liquid refreshment, lots of visiting and many breaks!

The Final Step: Backing Over the Old Name

First time out with the new name on the boat, we were required to luff up into the wind and drift to a complete stop, then allowed the boat to sail backwards. This represents "backing over" the old name. Sailing backwards is hard - requires a good breeze, some waves usually help, and a fair amount of skill. But the goddesses and gods that are concerned with these matters are not easy to impress!

Although it was quite difficult to do (with opposing wind and tide etc. in Discovery Channel) we were able to drift backwards for the official removal of the old name.  This is never to be done under power if one is a sailing vessel!

(Sorry about the quality of this photo - it was taken on Bill's Blackberry -which must not have been used to bright sunshine as summer seemed unattainable until now!!)

We are now planning our first major (6 days) sailing trip into Desolation Sound next week- we are hoping for good weather and fair winds...

So our next posting will be all about some of the testing of techniques (lots of anchoring, heaving to etc.), ground tackle (i.e. anchors) and other hardware that we will be doing during this little trip.  It's hard to imagine but this will be our last multi-day trip before we head off... over the horizon next June!

so, until then...

See you when we see you!

Catherine and William of SV Terrwyn