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Nil Volentibus Arduum...
07/11/2009, 14 27.889'S:146 02.080'W, Manihi, Tuamotu
Well we made it to the Tuamotu Group. It was not that easy, first of all we had a hard time leaving on Wednesday. Our magnetic compass was screwing up. It is located in a locker with all kinds of food. The lady of the house was instructed not to have any metal containers inside. She followed those directives diligently except for one little detail. Foil packaging was not considered a metal container well the laws of Magnetism did not agree and put the compass of about 20 degrees. So it took us a while to locate the problem and recalibrate the system. Secondly the weather kind of let us down. Where is Armand Pien (Belgian Legendary Meteorologist) when you need him. We had a great start, good winds, clear skies, doing about 7.5 to 8 Kts (in the world of 36' sailing vessels that is warp speed), but at night the squalls start hitting us and they have every night pretty much, so very little sleep. Then we tried to make it here for midday on Saterday, regarding the strong currents through the passes into the lagoons (sometimes up to 9 Kts!!!!) and it was a struggle, we went a little too slow to make it for midday and before sunset and a little too fast to wait a whole night so to make it the next day. Well a long story short, we made it half an hour before sunset. The hairy trip through the pass went OK, coral fields left and right, coral heads everywhere and we have no chart of the lagoon which is actually pretty big. That is not irresponsible from our part, I can hear a few of you mumbling, they just do not exist. Maneuvering through the coral patches going from about 30m to pretty much 1 m we slalomed through them with my very cute look out positioned on top of the pull pit, laughing at the houses on poles everywhere which are pearl farms. And now we are anchored in front of this beautiful white beach with palm trees and big coral reef in front of it (lots of snorkeling coming up!!!) and the water as clear as cristal and as turquoise as can be. For all the Flemish people out there, Happy National Holiday!!! "Ze zullen hem niet temmen, de fiere Vlaamse leeuw ....etc etc..." Speak to you all soon,...
And Off We Go!!!!Hans
07/08/2009, Nuku Hiva, Marqueses
Baie de Controleur-TaipivaiHans
06/30/2009, 08 52.770'S:140 02.910'W, Nuku Hiva
HI, We are still in Nuku Hiva, you can tell we like it here. Well that we like it here is a fact but we are also still in this neck of the woods because of the weather. It blows quiet hard, like a constant 20 to 25 kts and then gusts up to 40 Kts sometimes. And when at anchor in a bay in about 5 m of water, and knowing that the only thing that is holding you back from smashing into the rocks is a 44 Lbs CQR anchor and 5/16" High Tensile chain (about 45m) sleeping is a risky business. Except for that little inconvenience, otherwise life has been good. We have met a very nice Dutch couple with their 3 children, Jan, Wietske, Esther, Anne-Linda and Koen. We met them in Hiva Oa and have been bumping into them ever since. For the last couple of days we have been sitting here together in the same bay. We have been exchanging DVD's and Jan and I share the passion of the six string. Going into the little village of Taipivai, we found the only little snack place (see the pics in a couple of days) owned by Mahina and his girl friend Maeva. Wonderful people, they fed us and he showed me how good he is on his ukelele. We made an appointment to go the next day evening for a good meal with our Dutch friends and I would bring my guitar for some jam session. We had a blast and a great meal, we had breadfruit fries, they tasted really good. The next day (Sunday) we took Jan and the family with us on our boat and sailed around the bay to Hooumi Bay for a barbeque-picnic with my friend Brysse (the tattoo artist) and his family on the beach. There were more sailors present, people we have met on different places, Phillip and Lesley on Carina and Jocelyn and Anne from Sundance. After a good meal Jan and I took our tools out and played a couple of tunes at sunset. After about an 1 hour boat ride we went back to the Bay of the Controleur and went to bed. Well Monday was uneventful, we stayed on the boat all day waiting for the weather to get better, but it did not. As you can see life is good, we hope all our families and friends are in good health and receive all the Sun, Hope and Happiness we are sending to you all....
06/26/2009, Taiohae Bay Nuku Hiva
Kao-ha to y'all,
06/15/2009, 09 21.460'S:140 06.320'W, Ua Pou, Marquesas
Well a few days have passed since our last entry. We have moved this morning from Hakahau to Hakahetau which is about a 7 Nm sail. It is a lot shorter actually but there are parts around the island that have not been mapped so why take the risk to save maybe 10 minutes. The reason we moved is because of "Aranui 3" the 118m provisioning ship that is suppose to show up tomorrow morning at 5.30 and we were in the way for it to dock. So we had to move anyway. Last week ended in us going to the-end-of-the-year party of the local college. They build a traditional oven, had local dances, food etc... a big chunk of the local population was there, it was fun to see the boys and girls performing their traditional dances in their selfmade very colourfull clothing. Now I am sure some of you ask yourselves why would they stay over a week in Hakahau? Good question... Erika and I have been suffering since Friday from the Tropical dissease: Dengue Fever. A viral infection propagated by the only animal I like to kill (with a vengeance from now on) the Mosquito. Since we have been in the Marqueses we have been bitten on many occasions feeding the local population of many good proteins and this is how they repay us. We have tried to protect ourselves with Deet sprays and local lemon based oils but all in vain. The little suckers kept coming and I can tell you we are not the only victims. Before we left Nuku Hiva, two people we met, one local and one British guy were suffering of the same symptoms: Muscle pain, fever, headache, being very very tired,... So for the last few days we have been laying around with our new best friends Ibuprofen, Panasonic laptop and the Lord of the Rings Triolegy. Yep we watched 9 hours of Frodo wining like a little girl, elves, hobbits, wizzards, orc bashing, etc... Time well spent I would say, it is not like we are a dingy ride away from paradise. Tomorrow or the day after we are planning on going back to Nuku Hiva. We read in one of our cruising guides that we could restock on fresh veggies in this place... but when I went ashore this morning to get my baguette, I asked around and I happen to bump into the sister-in-law of the only farmer around here and she told me he had to work the land to plant some new crops, so no veggies. So we are going to fill up with water here and as soon as we are feeling better we are going to cross over to Taiohae bay (Nuku Hiva) to restock on food before we depart for the next leg: Tuamotu Archipel. This Archipel consists of about 78 islands, all but two being coral atolls. So no more lush vegetation and vulcanic mountains, here the highest point of the island is the tallest leaf of the coconut tree. White sandy beaches with waving palmtrees, encircling the large lagoons, filled with all kinds of colourful coral heads, this will be great to snorkel our way to Tahiti. Just for your information this is where the French use to love performing their Nuclear Tests. I guess observing so much destruction from a sandy beach with an aperitive in one hand while sucking on a Gauloise cigarette is quiet an experience, you probably had to be there to understand..... Peace and Love
06/10/2009, Ua Pou Marqueses
Well do I have to say more, check out the pic. This mountain is 1200m high. It took us about 5 hours to get here yesterday. We kind off ran out of wind midway but that was alright, we did not have a hot date....
From Nuku Hiva to Hua PouHans
06/09/2009, Baie de Taiohae
Well this morning after breakfast we are leaving Nuku Hiva. We are going back South to Hua Pou. We mist it before so we could make Kai's drop off. We are full of fuel, almost no more water (water is not drinkable here because of the pigs and goats in the mountain, they are polluting all the local water with their dongdong).
Ce N'est Qu'un Au Revoir...Hans
06/04/2009, Nuku Hiva, Marqueses
We are in Nuku Hiva. This is the main island in the Marqueses. And there goes Kai. He has left this morning for Papeete in Tahiti to catch his flight to Hawaii where he will join his own little floating Misses. We wish him the best. And thanks again to make our crossing a lot easier.
05/31/2009, 09 42.830'S:139 00.900'W, Hiva Oa, Marquesas
We have spend a couple of days in Atuona, clearing in finally happened and we were able to get Erika also 3 months. We had to pay extra as Americans only get 1 month, but after purchasing a 3000 FCP stamp (about $30) the Gendarmerie allowed us 2 extra months. Now for me, as a EU citizen, I got 3 months to start with. We went to see the Gaugin Museum and the Jacques Brel Memorial. What a man Jacques Brel was, he did so much good for the locals. When I have a chance I will post all the pics that we have taken so far, ....
Day 2505/26/2009, Atuana, Hiva Oa
Here we are, anchored in the bay. By the way this is the first time we anchored with Babalu and all went well. A CQR anchor on the bow and Fortress 23 at the stern, she lays wonderfully in the swell.
Day 24 (with a little delay)hans
05/26/2009, Hiva Oa approach
05/23/2009, 07 15.353'S:136 35.337'W, Pacific
A fine day it is... We are 196 Nm away from our first destination. We had to slow down the boat considerably so to arrive at Hiva Oa on Monday morning. The French do charge a big overtime fee if not cleared in within business hours and Sunday is not a business day not even here. We have been doing an average of 7 kts for the last couple of days. So we reefed the main and furled the headsail to get down to about 5 kts. So near and yet so far. Rolling our way closer to our croissants. We have logged 2792 Nm so far and we would have arrived in 24 days if not slowed down which is quiet good considering the estimated time for this trip is 27 days at best. That is what happens when you sail a sportscar. We are all in good health, slightly longer hair on different parts of our bodies and are afraid to set foot ashore as our mind will have trouble walking straight. We do not have a good idea of the facilities we are about to encounter as the latest cruising guide is from 2005. That will pretty much determine how long our stay will be before moving on to Nuku Hiva who is the center of the Southern Marquesas. We need Diesel, Fresh Water, Fresh Food and a good night sleep. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods or part of the globe. Will be talking soon, hopefully with a "Land Ahoy" Picture. Todeloo
05/21/2009, 03 15.965'S:133 13.332'W, Pacific
05/19/2009, 00 00.000'N:132 00.000'W, Pacific
We did it!!!! Well we crossed the equator, not that we arrived yet, and I could not wait to send you the pick. It might not be very clear but the gauge in the background shows the Latitude. We had chocolate Cake that Erika baked with chocelate covered rasberry sticks that said 0(Deg.Sign)00'. We washed the very tasty cake down with some chilled coffee. We are quiet exited as this is quiet a milestone, only 700 Nm to go!!! and off we go. Later Mob
05/19/2009, 00 47.358'N:131 43.805'W, Pacific
Greetings from (Almost) the Equator, Well as you can see we are about 47 Nm away from the Equator. It has taken us quiet a while to get here, the reason for that is that the wind direction has not been helping us. We have more Southerly winds then the expected South Easterly. So we have been going more West then we anticipated. The only negative on that is that we will have to beat longer then expected and that is not very comfi. We have been beating now for about 3 days and Erika has been amazing in being able to cook for us in that position (between 20 to 30 degrees angle) She has made us muffins and made falafel from scratch, etc... What a woman... Our spirits are high and are in a healthy state, we did run out of fresh produce, for 18 days at sea that is not bad I would say, and who can say no to a good well ballanced canned meal??? Our watermaker is puffing along. We run the engine for about 2 to 3 hours every two days, and that is when we make water, charge the kids iPod and charge anything that needs juice. We still have about 25 Gallons of Diesel left, that should be enough to get to the islands with still some left in case of emergency. (If Steve Dohm is reading this, your bloody tank is leaking again!!! only at the top when we are pressed up, I will come to Seattle and kick you in the nuts, and then we can have a nice evening together and have a laugh, say hi to Wendy). Otherwise all is well, we will be talking again in two days, ciao...
05/17/2009, 04 07.870'N:129 50.887'W, Pacific
As you can see we are approching the equator very slowly, we have had to go all the way west to catch some winds and with fear of going to much west and crossing the equator way passed 130W we chose to motor last night South South South.... hoping for some Easterly wind. The Doldrums are mean little buggers that love to move around, and because of us not making alot of Southerly progress and they are moving West we got caught up yesterday with no wind and when there is a little wind it is on the nose. But we are hoping today to get the final push all the way to the Marquesas, cross fingers, and keep that blood flowing please.... Also for those that have not received their Invitation to our Equatorial Cross Party please do not despair we should be very close to the Mail bouy. The Equadorian Goverment has assured us of its location and we should be there shortely. Otherwise, live goes on here on our, a bit less of 300 square feet of pure luxuary, vessel. We have seen very little Marine life, what we see most is clouds, all shapes and forms so while on watch we make up stories and the funny thing is that most of the time the clouds are playing along, changing their shapes to our creative telling. For the rest we eat and sleep, not very interesting but we do it in an amazing setting, nothing but water, at least 3000m deep and as far the eye can see. Completely at the mercy of Nature, let's hope she is mercyfull, .... Ciao, huggs and kisses.
05/15/2009, 06 46.772'N:127 58.717'W, Pacific
We have finally entered the Doldrums 2 days ago. Very impressive cloud scape, very very (and I can not emphasise this enough) very hot and about 95% humidity. The winds did not die down much but we had a lot of new friends, Squalls. They are visual on radar, screws your wind up (and your sails)(50 Deg wind shift in about 15 seconds) and they love to share their contents, mainly water. It is nice during the day, refreshing, cooling your body down from the ever burning sun, you can take a shower on deck, anticipate the wind change a little, but at night, see the pic, it is pitch black, you are disorientated, wet to the bone and alone on watch. (where is that violin?) We have this morning a complete opposit picture, flat, SE winds and a notherly swell, so i am not sure if this is just a little tease of the SE trades or if the doldrums are playing kiekeboe!!! and send us another busload of squalls today. We are looking like a Chinese Jonk today too, all the wet gear, towls, shirts, pants, it is all flapping in the wind hung up to our life lines, quiet a sight, those sea hippies!!!! Well so far so good, we have sailed 1750 Nm so far and we still have about 421 Nm to go to the equator and 1206 Nm to our destination, Hiva Oa at the Marquesas Islands. Take care, The Babalu Crew
05/13/2009, 10 21.062'N:126 40.639'W, Pacific
We have finally reached the Trade winds, only at 14Deg. N. Usually they are around 20Deg.N. We have been flying since, doing an average of 7 Kts. We are now a couple a degrees North of the Doldrums, so get back to your kitchen and cut another goat, we are going to need wind. We passed the halfway point last night and are about 650 Nm away from the equator. Once we pass the equator we are turning pretty much westsouthwest. We probably are going to beat up for a little while but you know it might actually be more comfortable then swinging from 20 Deg Starboard to 20 Deg Port and back. We are all in good shape, Erika and I have a little more trouble sleeping because of the motion but Kai he has cut a couple of forests down already, as soon as his head hits the pillow, his off to snore ville. Good for him. We have seen a couple more animals, quiet a few dolphins rubbing their backs to our bow, Babalu the dolphin back scratcher, I hope the wales wont get any ideas. Also a couple of Turtles. One was really big, the shell about 1 m in diameter, he wanted to cross the bow before we got there, he was like one of those pedestrians that want to cross the road just in front of your car, at first quiet confident but then gradually getting more and more anxious with that head that keeps spinning back and forward, eye brows getting lower and lower, well that turtle looked exactly like that, he made it safe, we did not get flipped. Lots of birds, you wonder how they can stay out here for so long. And a couple of dead fish, a couple of flying fish that just did not make the jump over the boat and a small squid that just wanted to try something new I guess. We all say hi to you all and we will talk to you again on day 15.
05/11/2009, 14 27'N:124 54.6'W, Pacific
Greetings, It is day 11 and we have clocked so far 1225 Nm (2270 Km or 1410 Mi or 2.398069e-010 Lightyear). We are doing good, Erika just finished baking muffins, Kai is taking a little nap, and I am happilly talking to you all. So far no signs of Cabin Fever (check out your classics, Treasure Island with the Muppets, MUST SEE!!!) I had to put my foot down a couple a days ago that no one jumps in the ocean to have a little swim. It was very inviting, it was so hot, no wind, the colors of the ocean, and the size of this megamongus personal pool. (Megamongus is by the way a new word I am lounching, to keep up with inflation) But I do not like the fact that we have been dumping food left overs for the last week (we probably have a whole ecosystem on our tail) and you know, this is the pacific.... I don't think Erika was very happy, but the next day she came to me and told me that at sunrise she witnessed a good size dorsal fin with just behind a smaller tail fin....maybe 10' overall, greyish, lots of teeth. Otherwise not so much a variety of animals as we would have expected, mainly herds of flying fish and a couple of blue footed boobies. They encircled us all day yesterday and using the opportunity of us disturbing the fields of flying fish so they can hunt them, to thank us they crapped only on the port side of the deck....
05/09/2009, 17 31.6'N:123 51.8'W, Pacific
We kindly request for you all to make some kind of a sacrifice to the god Anemos, we are in desperate need for some wind. We have been motoring for 2 days at low rpm to conserve fuel. We have been able to fill up all our water resevoirs with our little watermaker, charge our phones (nope we are not calling anyone, just an alarm clock). And we just had our second casuallity today. First of all because of the lack of wind (about 4 Kts.) that means the boat rolls alot due to the swell that is still present. We had just a headsail on with the pole, but as the little amount of wind is not enough to keep her inflated and the influence of the roll, we were flapping, and nothing worse then a flapping sail. Our nice looking radar reflector on the mast got wacked a few times and is now reflecting more cosmic rays then any other ships radar beams. Oh by the way did I mention that we have not seen a ship for 6 days!!! Great no? And then today in a moment of an equilibriac chalange Kai fell back onto the stove and the latch that keeps the gimbal in, broke. Other then that the spirits are up, we have passed the one third mark and we keep going. The wind does not look promising until tomorrow night, but we are getting closer to the Doldrums, so please, cut a chicken, goat, your anoying neighbour, anything our anybody that bleads with the request of a "little" more wind, we are NOT requesting a bloodshed with a huricane as a result. Thanks. Babalu Nation
Do the bop aroundHans
05/07/2009, 20 52.8'N:122 19.9'W, Pacific
Howdy, All is well in the middle of nowhere. We have been making good progress, an average of 125 Nm a day. The weather has been relatively good, still kind of overcast but the winds are in our back so we are still going in the right direction. True wind of 10 to 20 knots with the occasional burst to 30Kts. But our little Babalu just looks back for a second, shakes her toosh and smiles back on her way... We are eating well, sleeping ok, still struggling with the roll, but all in all this is the life. We just passed the Tropic of Cancer, nothing really happened, but it is a nice milestone. We have not experienced a lot of animals in those 7 days, a big dorsal fin, a flying fish, a single porpoase with a purpose heading south and a couple of birds, that is it. Oh and I think I might have seen an UFO, but that might be due to lack of sleep, who knows... We all say hi to all who's reading, hope all is well in the civelized world, speak to you in two days. Erika, Kai and Hans
Hi to allHans
05/05/2009, 24 51.2'N:120 44.6'W, Pacific
Hi to all,
a little furtherHans
05/03/2009, 28 40.8'N:119 02.1'W,
Hi all, All is well, sailing around with just a main sail and still making between 5 to 7 knots. Quiet rolly because of the westerly swell, should change by tomorrow. See ya
05/02/2009, 30 37.7'N:118 04'W,
Fog, hardly any wind, but we are underway....Westerly swell and we are going south, bastard swell!!!
And off we goHans
04/30/2009, 32 42.6'N:117 14'E, San Diego, Transit Dock
We are leaving today at about 14.00 Pacific Time. Some of you will be up and about, some of you will be about ready to go to sleep. We on the other hand are going to set the canvas, follow the Sun and finally start our journey to prove once and for all that the world is really round. We might not be the first or last but in this day and age, this is the only thing that makes sense to us. We love you all and will take good care of eachother. You will all be mentioned in our toasts when crossing the equator and especially at the point furthest removed from any land... Goodbye, farwell, aufiederseen, adieu, and you and you.....
The Steel Sail, a success story.Hans
04/29/2009, Still in San Diego
We started the engine yesterday, and she started almost right away and purred like a kitten. We only had a few minor little modifications to do. One of them was the controls. Astern moved the boat forward and Ahead moved the boat back. Easy fix.
A little CloserBaba Hans
04/22/2009, San Diego
Well we got one step closer today. The engine arrived, what a beauty. We are on the hard right now so we could install the saildrive. Which we did today. So tomorrow we are putting in the new engine.
04/19/2009, San #$%& Diego
Well the verdict is in:
The dock does not want to let us go!!!Baba-freakn'lu-se-it-soon
04/16/2009, San #$%& Diego
Cancel Previous Very Importand Message!!!!The Babas
04/08/2009, Shelter Island, San Diego
Well our Sailblogs administrator has been very diligent and has kept the URL the same as the old page. So if you can see this page now that means you have either missed the previous message or figured out that the new address is not working.