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A family travels from Florida to New Zealand aboard their St Francis 50 catamaran
Enroute to Beveridge Reef
08/14/2011, 19 39S 166 06W

Some adverse weather is on the way up from the south so we decided to divert to Beveridge Reef as we would be exposed to the northwesterly winds at Niue. We should be there by morning and stay until Thursday morning when the front will have moved though. It has been a calm passage so far with light winds and too much motoring. At the moment we are sailing nicely at 8 knots but the wind comes and goes. The fishing has been excellent with one Mahi-Mahi the first day and three large ones yesterday. So today the lines have not been deployed as the freezer is pretty full. Pictures when we have internet next.

Leaving Aitutaki
08/12/2011, 18 52S 160 14W

We spent about 10 or 11 days in Aitutaki, about the same as last time. I must say the island really grows on you. To be with Polynesians that speak English was a pleasure. We enjoyed eating out a lot and went to a great song and dance show the last night. Also spent a fair amount of time getting the boat cleaned up for John and Jenny. They arrived Tuesday afternoon and had a few days to tour the island before we left this morning (Friday). The anchoring situation sorted it's self out after the initial group left and we got the harbor organized properly. A lot more boats are visiting Aitutaki now a days with a peak of 13 boats while we were there. 6' is the maximum draft that you can take though the pass reliably but I did guide a boat out this morning that drew 6'2". Most of the boats that did not have a lot of experience reading tropical water depths which was about 80% of the boats wound up getting stuck halfway through the pass. So we spent a fair amount of time helping pushing boats back into the channel using whoever was around. Typically about 3 to 4 dingys and sometimes a local boat would chip in as well. It's good to be underway again even though we have no wind. Hopefully we can put a lot of miles under our keel in the next 4 weeks while John is aboard.

Anchoring fun at Aitutaki
08/03/2011, Aitutaki

Entered the pass at Aitutaki at 9:30am only to find a large catamaran had anchored poorly in the anchorage causing all the subsequent boats to position themselves in relation to him. So that means the harbor is full even though there are only 7 boats. Not only that, he has taken on the task of guiding all the boats in and telling them where they should anchor so it just keeps getting worse and worse. Now if some of the boats need to depart other boats will have to move to let them out. So we spent hours yesterday trying to secure ourselves properly outside the harbor as the port captain did not want any more boats inside. Basically manually tying ourselves to rocks under water as there is no holding in a 3" layer of sand over rock. After taking all day to accomplish that and not to my complete satisfaction another catamaran is directed to anchor out by us just before sunset. Of course it's even worse for him as he has no light so winds on top of some coral heads. In order to get him off he had to come very close to us and now the sun has set and one off his crew swims down to check his lines and reports back that the rock he tied the line to is no longer there. So I am holding him off the rocks that I am secured to with the dingy in full revs, the sun is gone and thankfully he makes the decision to abandon the idea of staying the night in that spot. So I let him hang on another line his crew had secured to another rock and went and asked some local guys if they could guide him into the harbor where he was not allowed earlier by the port captain but at this point it was becoming a real safety issue so the locals came out in their boat we just did it. Steve on Heatwave turned out to be a great guy and I hope any damage from the rocks is minor. Ashore last light we met some of the other boats at a potluck and they told us that they would defy the guy on the large cat and make room for us and Heatwave today. We shall see how they feel about that today after all the drinking that was going on last night.

08/04/2011 | Don Ewart
Funny story (after it's over)
116 Miles To Aitutaki
08/01/2011, 18 18S 157 49W

3:40 pm. Had a slow night but the wind has picked up today. Saw a whale late yesterday. Everyone is doing fine with our new crew growing accustomed to the shipboard routine. Raining a little this morning but a fairly nice day today with some periods of sunshine although mostly overcast. Only 176 miles this 24 hour period but the light winds were taken into account when deciding what time to leave Bora Bora. The plan is to arrive first thing in the morning at Aitutaki and we may have to wait an hour or two outside the pass waiting on the tide.

Bora Bora and Onwards
07/31/2011, 17 30S 155 03W

We picked up a free mooring ball at Bloody Mary's and spent our entire short stay there. Had lunch there twice, a good burger for $1000 cpf. Climbed to the lookout and went to a few snorkel spots. Bla bla. Easy to hitchhike everywhere and speaking to the locals it's sad to see how poorly the island is doing in this economy with lots of closed hotels not being kept up, therefore becoming an eyesore. People are nice and the lagoon is as beautiful as ever. We left the pass yesterday afternoon at 3:30pm and now at 3:30pm have covered 196 of the 484 mile passage to Aitutaki in the Cook islands. I was just about to post this when the main halyard shackle broke sending the main crashing down and leaving the halyard pulley 71' up in the air. So up the mast I went and an hour later we are under way again. Won't help our next 24 hour average.

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Who: David, Alec, Emilie, Nathalie
Port: Tavernier, Florida USA
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