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Paikea Mist's Ode to Our Shores
the wet coast, the wild coast the mighty magnificent west coast. water spills from your snowy peaks and fills my soul. may your winds push me onwards yet always bring me home.
Paikea Mist's Photos - Main
We spent a few weeks in the late summer exploring the Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea. We visited 13 islands, and each one of them was unique in its own way. We spent the last few days on Chios, eating up everything in site before we get ready to head back to Vancouver again.
69 Photos
Created 14 September 2013
We flew home to Vancouver to enjoy the summer there. We had no shortage of things to do, places to go and people to see. We had such a good time we weren't even thinking of poor old Paikea Mist all by herself in Cesme, Turkey!
22 Photos
Created 4 September 2013
We flew to Istanbul on our way to Marmaris, where we would eventually pick up our boat from the freighter. Istanbul is a fascinating city, and May is a nice time to visit- not too hot yet, and over the wintertime chills. My personal favorite was the Basicila Cisterns, where they used recycled columns to build the huge underwater reservoir. Lights with water make it a lovely place. Our first impression of Istanbul- cosmopolitan meets old, clean streets, friendly and helpful people. Think we are gonna love Turkey!
10 Photos
Created 25 June 2013
We had a stop over in Cairo anyways, so we decided to stretch it for a few days to take in the sites. We found Cairo interesting, but very dirty, and the street hustlers incredibly agressive, even for our hardy standards. The pyramids and ancient sites made up for the other challenges in the city of Cairo- and our day to the Pyramids was fantastic. If you go to Cairo- 2 days is lots!
20 Photos
Created 25 June 2013
We loved the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, where the young vietnamese demonstrated their friendliness, helpfulness and optimism to us time and again. Most people think that Vietnamese are 'shisters', ready to make a quick buck at your expense. While it is true they are fast at business deals, we found them very honest. Their currency is a challenge- way too many zeroes, and a bill worth 5 looks very similar to a bill worth 50. Twice I had shopkeepers return the extra money, even though they knew I was confused, and they could have easily taken the extra money into their own pocket. Hanoi has 8 million people, six million scooters and countless bikes. We rented bicycles, and scooters and turned the town upside down! We hope you enjoy the candids!
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Created 21 June 2013
We took the overnight train from Hanoi to the northern border of Vietnam to visit the magical SaPa, a beautiful mountainous area where rice paddies are carved high into the steep slopes. The ethnic people who live in this region are very diverse, and live simple agricultural lives, toiling in the paddies with water buffalo and hand picks. We hired a guide, LySa who was a local H'mong, and hiked the length of the entire valley, through various villages of several differ ethnic minorities. LySa family history stretches back to Mongolia where her family fled to Vietnam as refugees. The hard work and simple lives of the people of these outlying villages is truly humbling. After walking two days we hired motor bikes and wound our way even farther afield on the mountain passes. Simply a stunning place to visit, a highlight of our travels so far.
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Created 9 May 2013
We arranged a three day two night junk tour of Vietnams famous HaLong Bay, one of the seven wonders of the world ( are we counting?) and a World Unesco site. We were amazed with the tourist traffic (5.1 million visits a year, 480 live aboard Junks, 1500 day boats!!!). This is justified, Halong Bay is an amazing place to see, and we were very happy that we took the extra day which got us away from the busiest area and into the beautifully remote corners of this unique place. It was nice to be on the ocean, and not having to worry about charts, weather or anything else. That was until a typhoon warning was issued on the evening of the second day and all the boats had to go back to the safe harbour of HaLong city, and all tourists off the boats! This is the easiest storm avoidance tactics we have ever had to consider, the tour company drove us back to Hanoi and set us up in a nice hotel for the last evening!
10 Photos
Created 28 April 2013
Instead of waiting impatiently for "our boat to come in", we chose to escape the heat of Phuket to take a road trip. We logged lots of miles to take in some spectacular scenery and historical sites. The driving was a a bit challenging, roads were well travelled, busy with the mass migration of Songkran, Thai New Year. Thai driving style is simple, the big guy always wins and one should follow an 'elastic' view point of road lines which are mere suggestions for traffic flow! Regardless of the driving conditions, we really enjoyed this road trip and our chance to explore some of the most spectacular places in our search in the "land of the free". Swimming in fresh water lakes, soaking in the colors of trees in full bloom and visiting the historical Death Railway and the famous Bridge over River Kwai were some of the highlights. Not to mention riding an elephant bareback in the River Kwai. We hope you enjoy these photos. (Did you know thatThailand translates to 'land of the free', it was never colonized.)
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Created 14 April 2013
Who ever said you can't have two hometowns! Here's what's happening on the slopes of my favorite winter hangout
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Created 19 March 2013
We call home Vancovuer BC, one of the most beautiful cities on earth. Surrounded by oceans and mountains, there is no place like home!
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Created 22 January 2013
Before flying home to Canada we took the southern route via Australia to visit Michael's sister Margret and her husband Michael on their cattle ranch "Kyeema Springs". The weather was "fresh" and offered a good transition from the hot of Thailand before entering the cold of Canada! Kyeema Springs was a real treat for us, especially enjoying the organic grass fed beef and all the wonderful red wines from the local vineyards of McClaren Vale. We also enjoyed watching Margret and "the boys" work the ranch, something Margret does in her 'spare time' after running Michael's medical office, known as a "Surgery" in Australia. Many thanks to the Reid family, Margret, Michael, Callum and Angus for giving us such a wonderful time at your place. Ho Ho Ho!
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Created 19 December 2012
Once we got to the brand new Krabi Marina, we hauled Paikea Mist out on the hard and set to work (don't worry no work photos here). While we sweated in the heat and humidity through our chores, we also took time to explore the area around Krabi. Our biggest feat was climbing the 1237 steps to the top of the Tiger Cave Temple, just outside Krabitown. Although there was no solitude at the Emerald Pool (Sra Morakat), we enjoyed a lovely walk to the distant Blue Pool. Arriving there early meant we we had it to ourselves for about.. er.. 5 minutes! The juxtaposition new versus old was everywhere. From the simple raised huts to the shiny cars parked outside, from lone men walking a cattle along the road at night to cell phone texting gone viral, from locals eating their meals in simple outdoor venues to trendy tourists restaurants! Everything it seems is in the eye of the beholder. We hope you enjoy!
20 Photos
Created 19 December 2012
We rented a scooter to explore the sights of Phuket, including winding our way up to the huge Buddha which stands high above the anchorage. The buddha is still under construction and stands about 45 meters high. We also took a stroll 'back in time' to try to find where we stayed in a cozy beach side bungalow almost thirty years ago. The beach that we cycled to on our bikes and had ENTIRELY to ourselves was now completely over run by beach umbrellas and tourists. Nevertheless, the beach is still stunning, although we missed the tiny beach hut that we bought cold beers and a cheap fresh fish lunch! Gone are the days....
17 Photos
Created 16 November 2012
We spent a day anchored in Hole in the Wall after we checked out of Malaysia. Although in the day time we endured an onslaught of tourist boats, the late afternoon, early evening and morning were spectacularly beautiful.
22 Photos
Created 15 November 2012
Langkawi is an island at the northern end of Malaysia. We spent our last days in Malaysia enjoying the stunning scenery from plunging waterfalls to sandy beaches and jagged cliffs falling to the emerald green ocean. We also enjoyed filling our bootie with cheap duty free liquor!
12 Photos
Created 15 November 2012
We stopped for a few days at the Admiralty Marina near Port Dickson. The marina was stunning in its colonial accents and a great spot to explore the old trading port of Melaka. We hired a car for the day to take in the sights. We arrived on the muslim religious holiday where we witnessed the faithful slaughtering domestic animals on public plazas. The tradition is to then share the meat with the less fortunate. (No photo of this!, you will just have to believe me). We enjoyed the space needle view of Melaka as well as the river cruise, and just to round off our touristy experience we even took a tri-shaw ride through town while Bob, the driver sang us his karaoke version of Hotel California. We really felt like we could never leave!
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Created 1 November 2012
Singapore was a great stop to 'clean up our act' after three months in Indonesia! We were lucky to get into the OneDegree15 marina located in Sentosa. From here we made easy trips through the city to visit all the sites. We walked our socks off, ate amazing food and enjoyed and even a little bit of fussing with a blissful chinese foot massage to take the edge of our tired feet! From the marina we were able to take out our folding bikes to explore Sentosa.
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Created 21 October 2012
Before arriving in Bali, we explored this fantastic area with fantastic friends Allan and Alison. We had one beautifully sunny day after the next. Allan and Alison met us in LBJ and sailed with us up to Lombok.
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Created 20 October 2012
The river itself was beautiful, especially when it got to the itty bitty narrow spots where the boat squeezed through. We saw an amazing variety of wild creatures on the river from scary looking long nose crocodiles to magically floating paper lace butterflies. Our guide was not only knowledgable about the Orangutan but had a wealth of information about the vaired aspects of the rainforest, showing us where to find natural medicines for such things as malaria, tummy ache, and even mosquito repellent!
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Created 14 October 2012
We took an "African Queen" style riverboat to visit the Orangutans at the Camp Leaky feeding station. Here Orangutans who have been rescued from captivity or other endangerment are delightful to observe in their 'natural' habitat. The river itself was beautiful, especially when it got to the itty bitty narrow spots where the boat squeezed through.
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Created 14 October 2012
We spent a couple of days exploring Ubud, in Bali's interior. Here are some of the glimpses through the lense of our camera that make Ubud such an amazing place to experience.
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Created 8 October 2012
The island of Bali is completely different from the rest of Indonesia. Here Balinese fervently practise a unique version of Hinduism found only on the island of Bali. Mixed with animistic offerings to bring on the good spirits and keep bad spirits away, signs of their religion are everywhere you look. We were lucky to come across two cremation ceremonies during the full moon of September, which is considered a very auspicious time here. Though a busy place, with a large population, we still found Bali an enchanting and magical place. Enjoy our views!
25 Photos
Created 5 October 2012
Komodo National Park is a National Heritage site. The Komodo Dragon lives only on the small Indonesian islands of Rinca and Komodo. They grow to about 3.5 meters in length and are able to kill their prey with their bacteria ridden saliva. Although they look very slow moving, they are able to attack very quickly when going in for the kill. Mother Komodos bury their eggs, and protect them until they are hatched, at which point they are apt to eat their own hatchlings! The anchorage at the Ranger's hut was beautiful, framed by mangroves with huge sea eagles who were actively hunting the waters for fish as we drank our morning coffee. The Ranger's dock provided an easy access to the tour, complete with monkeys greeting us as we tied up our dinghy.
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Created 17 September 2012
The islands that surround the waters of Komodo are a soft brown, dried grassy banks from four months of the dry season. The most amazing thing happens when you let yourself drop down into the underwater world of Komodo. Everything comes completely alive, with a kalaidescope of color, movement and formations so vivid it leaves your eyes popping right out of your scuba mask! Come along for a journey down under the water in Komodo National Park.
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Created 17 September 2012
As well as climbing the nearby volcano, we enjoyed the Sail Indonesia celebrations hosted by the locals for all the cruisers arriving into their coastal town. The local dancing was some of the very best we have seen. The gala dinner was traditional food presented in a 'european' style. It was all delicious and our hosts in Lembata so incredibly gracious. Indonesians are some of the happiest, polite and hospitable people we've met anywhere.
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Created 5 September 2012
While we were in the Takabonerate atoll, Michael watched over Paikea Mist while Gloria got to explore a huge sandy island which was only exposed at low tide.
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Created 5 September 2012
We loved this anchorage 102 in the Riung Archipelego
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Created 30 August 2012
We had two great dives on a reef near our anchorage. The coral diversity was outstanding, and the dive was punctuated by our encounter with an ever changing cuttle fish. This is really worth looking at how this one creature can change so much!
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Created 30 August 2012
We had a magnificent sail with Ambika and Roxy to the small Muslim fishing village of Bonerate. From our anchorage we could see a large boat building operation. On shore, we found the most amazingly beautiful village, with well kept and clean homes, tidy concrete streets and of course very friendly people. Just as we were about to leave we met a university student who invited us to his home. As it was Independence Day in Indonesia, the entire town was dressed up in banners and the Indonesian red and white flag. Children were practicing marching down the streets readying themselves for the late afternoon parade. Some of the homes were very old, rickety places built on stilts high above the ground, while others boasted beautiful new tiled foyers and lovely ceramic tiles around glass windows.
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Created 29 August 2012
Ili Api is a smoking volcano near the city of Lembata on Lomblon Island Indonesia. We took a day tour, which left our anchorage at 3 am to climb the volcano in the early morning hours. The hike was very challenging, and requires good physical condition, especially balance and endurance. It is much easier if you start from the old village rather than hike it from sea level as we did. Even still, you will find the climb steep and the trail is only a slight indication of a path, with plenty of loose rocks to loose your footing on. If you do manage to climb to the top, you enter into a new world of smoke, cauldrons and craters. An amazing experience thanks to our guide Eylias.
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Created 14 August 2012
We enjoyed a delightful day interacting with the children of Baluring, and also had a great tour through the small fishing village, where we had a parade of children following us through the street culminating in a hearty farewell as we left again on our dinghy!
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Created 11 August 2012
We enjoyed exploring the small sprawling town of Kalabahi on the island of Alor, especially walking into some of the smaller neighbourhoods where kids would show you around. I had one group of kids lead me up a steep hill to a small school with sweeping views of the anchorage below. They then took me down a small narrow path to show me their new bamboo bridge over a new river The tourist officials who greet the rally boats go all out, although you have to understand that being Indonesia things don't always go exactly as they are planned. In two words: organized chaos seems to descirbe things the best, but if you bring a smile and some patience it is all first class fun. The anchorage at Kalabahi was not the greatest, although it was very picturesque. We had to endure two mosques on loud speakers competing for the 4 am prayers, and there was almost always lots of smoke from nearby garbage fires and kitchens, especially in the evenings and morning when there was not usually enough wind to carry it away. On the positive side, the town people were warm, friendly and helpful. We were treated like royalty, with a special dock made just for our dinghies, a morning opening ceremony with traditional dancing and a evening gala dinner. We are becoming used to being fed here, as this is the third dinner we've been given. Because we were one of the first five boats to arrive we were given the opportunity of being dressed up in traditional costumes as part of the fashion show for the dinner! This was a highlight for us, it was so much fun getting this royal treatment, and seeing ourselves looking like proper Indonesians! The rally folks in Kalibahi also organized two tours. We attended the tour to the traditional town of Takpala, where the villagers showed us their unique homes built of bamboo above the ground - three stories high in all! Very clever construction allowing the homes to stay cool, and even with constructions details which keep mice from coming into the house. We left the busy harbour a day early and had an invigorating sail upwind in 20-25 knots of true wind to the much smaller town of Buleron on Lombon Island.
20 Photos
Created 10 August 2012
Our first impressions of Indonesia- Kupang offers the visitor a bustling city of 300,000. A mixture of chaos, traffic, flotsam, muslim calls to prayer, history, adventure, and glimpses of the fabric of a culture that in many ways has remained unchanged despite the several cell towers that hover over the city. We splurged and hired a guide and a car to explore the area. $45 pp provided a perfectly fluent local guide, tours of a palm sugar production village, tour of a wooden boat building site, the local sprawling market, a fabulous lunch at a seaside restaurant, trip to a waterfall and the beautiful Crystal Caves. The meal alone would have cost as much in Darwin, even though the tour was 'expensive' in Indonesia terms. Michael and every other cruiser here are enjoying the Bintang- $3 a beer for a liter sized bottle. Loving that! Of note is that we step onto land very close to the spot where Captain Bligh landed after almost 3000 nm of navigating through the Pacific after the Mutiny on the Bounty.
32 Photos
Created 1 August 2012
We had a lot of fun in Darwin while we hustled and bustled to get ready for our trip to Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia
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Created 24 July 2012
The aboriginals pronounce it something like: Noor-roong-oo-rooj-bar. We went out on the sunset cruise to experience the natural settings and wildlife of this amazing wetland. The South Aligator river (okay so the first guy who ventured here thought they were aligators!) is a protected river- almost its whole path, making this a very special place. We experienced birdlife, amazing wetland vistas, and of course the mightly saltwater crocodile! This is a must do if you got to Yellow Water!
20 Photos
Created 18 July 2012
Kakadu National Park in the gem of the Northern Territory. This world heritage site recognizes the aboriginal clans who have lived in this remote area for thousands of years. They left their oral story in the form of vivid artwork on dramatic rocky outcrops. As well as the stirring cultural implications, Kakadu is one of the worlds most important wetlands, where 25% of Australia's birds can be found, as well as a plethora of other insects, reptiles,fauna and flora all doing a huge balancing act in this amazingly diverse ecosystem. It's a long straight boring drive to Kakadu, but once there the beauty of the place grabs you, and the history and culture of the Aboriginal people who have called this place home since time began will truly move your human spirit.
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Created 18 July 2012
We rented a campervan for 5 days and toured through the Northern Territory- at least the roads reasonably close to Darwin. Our first stop was Litchfield National Park. While you look at these photos think 34 degrees in the shade. The water was soooo refreshing- swam in every plunge pool that was open. Open means they've checked the area for crocodiles! Litchfield is not to be missed for anyone who enjoys stunning geography and plunging into refreshing clear water at the base of a towering waterfall.
15 Photos
Created 18 July 2012
We waited in Gove for a few days while the reinforced tradewinds howled through this neck of the woods. From Gove we enjoyed the scenic route through Hole in the Wall. Once through Hole in the Wall we sailed directly to Darwin, timing the currents in Dundas Strait perfectly to give us a 3.5 knot free ride into town. The winds died and the seas were mystically flat. Flat enough to put out the 'barby' (we are in Australia after all) and feast on delicious hamburgers!) Check out the smile on Kai and Megan's face!
13 Photos
Created 16 July 2012
We took two weeks to travel up the coast from Cairns to Cape York- the most northern cape of Australia. The anchorages were mainly unihabited. Some are known for saltwater crocodiles, so we stayed on the boat, other places we enjoyed beach strolls, hiking or dinghy exploring.
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Created 2 July 2012
pictures have got to say it all!
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Created 21 June 2012
We have been anchored behind the nice protection of Lizard Island while the wind has picked up to 25-30 knots. We haven't been able to get to any of the outer reef dive sites yet, but this is a little something to wet your lips- all taken within a swim of our boat.
36 Photos
Created 19 June 2012
A highlight of our trip to Santos was our Millineum Cave tour. We entered a huge cave which was beautiful in itself, wading through the water and scrambling over rocks to come out the other end. We needed flashlights to see where we were going! The adventure continued after the cave, as the river flows down a magnificient gorge, surrounded by tropical jungle. A not to be missed experience.
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Created 5 June 2012
We enjoyed an almost private Kastom dance by the men in the village on Avok Island. This is almost x-rated so for those of you who are squeamish about nuts, don't continue!
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Created 29 May 2012
Michael spends at least a couple of afternoons a week fixing generators or the like in the villages. These photos are taken in a small village near Port Resolution, but could have been taken anywhere. In Dhillon Bay, the islanders were very progressive, and keen to learn how to do the same work themselves, prodding Michael for their own understanding. This is so much better than when (as it happens often) islanders wait for the next cruiser to come along to fix something, taking a very passive role and never undertaking the job themselves.
9 Photos
Created 15 May 2012
We joined a group of cruisers to check out the most accessible volcano in the world- Tanna's Mt. Yasur.
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Created 15 May 2012
In search of sea turtles at a marine reserve we stumbled across a village celebrating the last day of school
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Created 15 May 2012
Our first stop in Vanuatu was the small island of Aneityum, where we were able to clear customs, and enjoy the two villages on the island.
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Created 15 May 2012
We had a 5 day fast passage from Opua New Zealand, 950 nm to Aneityum, Vanuatu
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Created 15 May 2012
We spent hours and hours hiking on trails from anchorages around New Zealand. Here are some of the 'highlights'
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Created 1 May 2012
The birds of New Zealand are one of the best things about 'tramping' in the 'bush'. (hiking in the woods). There are many birds which are unique to New Zealand. Here are some of the ones we've managed to get a shot of!
41 Photos
Created 5 February 2012
What an incredible place this New Zealand is- we've enjoyed anchorages at the beautiful Cavelli Islands as well as in the mini fjordland of Whangaroa and the fishing town of Mangonui
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Created 15 January 2012
We decided to stay in the Bay of Islands an extra week to take part in the Annual Tall Ships Race which has been held in Russell NZ since 1976. Although a gale warning was out with heavy rains we had a totally exciting and fun time taking part in the race and the party afterwards. Hats off to the small town of Russell for an excellent maritime event.
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Created 8 January 2012
We enjoyed even more time in the bay of islands before heading up North to round Cape Reinga
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Created 28 December 2011
I've spent the last week downtown Vancouver aboard S/V Asunto. The weather has been a fabulous mixture of sun and good ol' drizzle which Vancouver is known for. The camera doesn't come out much when it's wet, but here are a few shots that tell the story of why I love Vancouver.
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Created 18 December 2011
We spent an unhurried 6 days on the hook exploring the beautiful network of small, hilly, rocky islands that make up the Bay of Islands, just a short sail from Opua. We enjoyed fabulous day hikes, known as 'tramping' here, met several local boaters and enjoyed a visit from a pod of dolphins who spent their morning fishing directly under Paikea Mist! A spectacular show!
13 Photos
Created 10 November 2011
We had a 8 day upwind passage from Lautoka Fiji, to Opua New Zealand. We saw some of the biggest swells we have seen and was very warm all the way to Opua. Water temperature started at 30 deg. Celsius and are now 23 deg. Celsius in Opua.
16 Photos
Created 28 October 2011
We spent 2 1/2 weeks cruising through the islands that are scattered off the western side of Fiji- the Yasawas and the Mamanuca's. Michael and I had cruised the area earlier in the season, so we went back to some of our favorite spots, but also went further north up the Yasawa chain to the Sawai Lau Caves.
28 Photos
Created 15 October 2011
During our time in Fiji we did two trips through the islands on the western side, the Manamucas and the Yasawas. These are old volcanic mountains, some with great hikes to moutaintop vistas. The villagers rely mainly on the tourist industry, some working in resorts owned and run by foreigners. Other villagers have started their own backpacker style resorts. The Yasawas are known for their sunny days and long white beaches, and some of the most expensive resorts in Fiji. On Vomo Island bures start at 9000FJD per night! We anchored off the island and watched helicopters come and go with their high paying customers- aparently this is where Oprah comes, but stays for a measly 29000 per night!! Despite the resorts, we were able to find several nights at anchor in beautifully secluded spots, often with amazing snorkeling right off the boat.
17 Photos
Created 8 October 2011
We did two dives with Cameli at Makongai. Both were through broken reef, pinnacle structures offering a great variety of fish and fun.
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Created 26 September 2011
We ventured out to the very southern Lau group where we enjoyed exquisitely beautiful anchorages, met, ate and traded with the local fijians who live in this remote corner of the world.
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Created 17 September 2011
Sharks! Sharks! Sharks!
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Created 9 August 2011
Life underwater in Fiji so far has been amazing...join us as we continue to explore the reefs and their inhabitants!
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Created 22 July 2011
We spent 10 days in Savu Savu, at the Copra Shred Marina. We enjoyed inexpensive dining out with fellow cruisers from all over the world, exploring the small town and area. We took a bus ride to Labasa one day. The bus system is heavily relied upon by many fijians who do not own their own vehicles. As such, the buses are used like a personal car, with all sorts of items dragged on board or loaded into the storage area below. The bus trip was loads of fun and took us high up into the mountains before dropping back down to Labasa.
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Created 8 June 2011
We enjoyed people watching in both Savu Savu and Labasa. The school children in Labasa were waiting for their buses after school was out to return to the outlying villages. Our busride back to Savu Savu from Labasa was jampacked with schoolkids.
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Created 8 June 2011
We had an interesting upwind sail to Fiji this time. Pilot charts indicate that you should experience Northerly wind conditions less than 2% of the time in the month of May in this area! We ticked and tacked our way against northerlies for 7 of the 9 days!
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Created 20 May 2011
We spend several days anchored in two different anchorages on Waiheke, an island outpost to Auckland where a ferry takes islanders to the city for a days work before returning to their paradise. We rented a car to drive out to the tunnels made during WW2 to defend the Auckland harbour. They were amazing, all done in top secret during the war. A german war boat managed to sink a passenger boat a few hundred miles off NZ, which led up to the great tunnel building project. The tunnels lead to gun emplacements. We enjoyed navigating the underground system with flashlights (torches) in hand! The island offered a nice mix of nature, along with a cosmospolitan upscale feel.
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Created 8 May 2011
We spent about a month travelling by car, camping, hiking and enjoying South Island. Here are some of our favorite spots and pics
31 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 12 April 2011
What's that? Yeah, we splurged and had an absolutely spectacular day river rafting the pristine glacier fed Wataroa. The helicopter takes you and all the gear miles up the river an adventure in itself. Next you get to paddle with your mates and the guide down the river, splashing and twirling, paddling and swooshing down this beautiful river. We stopped at lunch for a mexican burrito style lunch, made in a bucket and served on a kayak paddle. We had a great time exploring a nearby waterfall where we jumped into the back eddy, and swam beneath the waterfall before jumping into the river and letting its power take us back to the raft- an EPIC day!
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Created 1 March 2011
We took to the thermal route near Roturua, escaping the tourism and opting for a less travelled route through the Waimangu Thermal Valley, and did the eco tour there. We walked through natural trails down to the lake- very impressive
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Created 1 March 2011
We took the Rip, Rap and Raft tour through the underground cave system, an absolute must do if you are in this area. We started the tour with a 30 meter abseil down the cliff into the cavern, and enjoyed a close up look at the glow worms at work, including watching one take in a live fly for his breakfast- it was amazing. The caverns were beautiful inside, and it was just a great twist to be able to float down an underwater river in an inner tube!
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Created 18 February 2011
Such a nice city of just over one million people, reminds us of Vancouver 20 years ago. Clean streets, friendly helpful people and a nice waterfront. We enjoyed a great 10k run along the seaside walkway before heading out to the western shores.
7 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 17 November 2010
Landfall in Opua is surreal. The area begs boats to explore its multitude of bays and anchorages. After arriving in Opua and cleaning the boat, we asked our friend and crew David what he wanted to do- we were at his disposal. "Go sailing" David replied, so out to the islands we went. What a great motivator to get out and see more! Thanks again David.
12 Photos
Created 17 November 2010
We spent almost a month in the Ha'aPai group of Tonga. The islands were more remote than Vava'u, which is a cruising mecca. We spent several nights in various anchorages where we were the only boat. Our favorite spot was off the northern end of the island of Foa. Here, during an incredibly calm series of five beautiful sunny days, we anchored inside a group of coral bommies, on a sandy bottom. Close by was a dive shop and a restaurant, you can't beat that!
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Created 19 October 2010
After seven weeks of cruising through this island group, we are finally leaving for Hai Pai. Here is some of our favorite places
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Created 24 September 2010
Enjoy the images, the kids are so beautiful.
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Created 4 September 2010
Va'Vau has been the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! So many beautiful anchorages, all within an easy day sail or less. Diving, snorkelling, crystal clear water and several caves makes for great adventures. The tongan people are more reserved than other pacific islanders we have met, but once met are genuine and sincere. Loving Tonga!
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Created 24 August 2010
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Created 16 August 2010
The following are a series of combined photos which were shared amongst fellow cruisers after a positively spectacular day spent swimming with a humpback mother and her calf. This day stands out as one of the best day since we lay in wonder of our own children, when we lay in awestruck wonder of their beauty. Such is the feeling to swim with these creatures and look both a humpback mother and her young calf in the eye at close range.
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Created 16 August 2010
Niue, We will let the photos tell the picture. Except this is the one place where truly a photo does not do justice. Amazing caves, both above and below water, limestone and more limestone. Great people, diving and hikin
39 Photos
Created 4 August 2010
It was the faint wisp of white caps on the horizon and the green clouds reflecting the lagoon below which gave us our first hints of Beveridge Reef. We had arrived on a cloudy morning, and our visibility into the lagoon was less than ideal for spotting coral heads as we entered the passage and crossed the lagoon to our anchorage on the windward side, just behind the crashing reef. The sense of accomplishment was immense as we safely traveled into the passage, being the only boat in the entire lagoon was very special for us. Our friends on Fly Aweigh pulled in about an hour behind us, and by the time they anchored we invited them over for a feast of Blueberry pancakes with icecream! The next day we switched anchorages to the side near the entrance passage. Over our visit six other boats arrived so some, although not all of the magic of the reef was diminished. Beveridge reef is apparently so small that you won't be able to find it on google maps- good thing we found it on our GPS, as it is not on our charts other than a little blob!
14 Photos
Created 2 August 2010
I know, another one of those islands that starts with a Ra...We get them mixed up as we sail towards them, making up all sorts of silly names for them. Rarotonga is a Cook Island, which stands for fun, fun and more fun! We rented a scooter to zip around the island, and even took one (don't tell budget) four wheel driving up a dirt track crossing streams until that just got silly whereby we continued by foot. We went on 3 hikes, the most challenging was the one up the knarly trail using repel lines to the Te Kou summit which dropped down to the water's edge 588 meters below. We had so much fun at the Saturday market- this is a not to be missed smorgasbord of food stands, fresh produce along with Cook Island music and dancing. Although these particular shots don't include any under water images, we also enjoyed amazing snorkelling here including some of the biggest game fish we have seen to date inside a lagoon! The only downer about Rarotonga is the harbour and the concrete dock you have to tie up to med moor style, and the dirt that blows onto the boat from the industrial setting closeby. All in all a not to be missed island!
18 Photos
Created 20 July 2010
This incredible competition goes on throughout the islands of French Polynesia, until the best of the very best compete against each other in early July. The youth have embraced their cultural history and man oh man do they do the traditional dances justice!
10 Photos
Created 7 July 2010
We turned Bora Bora upside down, enjoying every last morsel of French Pollynesia! From windsurfing over the shallows in the lagoon, snorkelling and swimming with the amazing mantas, 4x4 expedition with Kristine, Allen and Allison- what a fabulous place to round off our experience in these islands. At the Bora Bora Yacht Club, we left our Bluewater Yachtclub of Oak Bay burgee hanging proudly from the rafters! The BYOB empire expands!
28 Photos
Created 7 July 2010
Just a short distance from our anchorage we enjoyed exploring these amazing coral gardens off the island of Tahaa
9 Photos
Created 7 July 2010
The sail to the less touristy island of Moorea is akin to crossing to the Gulf Islands from Vancouver. Paradise does lay only a short sail away! The anchorages are spectacular, with soaring mountains. The island offers beautiful walks to lookouts, which may make you think you are in Switzerland, not French Polynesia. We kicked back in Opunhua Bay for several days enjoying the clear waters, 'swimming' with the sting rays, diving, socializing (endless it seems by now we know most of the other cruisers) and cycling.
20 Photos
Created 16 June 2010
It sunk in when we first saw the profile of the island of Tahiti. We had sailed to Papeete!! The port is as busy as can be, and we even got buzzed by an airplane as we crossed the channel to the south end where Marina Taina is. As there were no slips available at the marina, we tucked into an anchorage just south of the marina with several other boats. We spent several days here, catching up on the necessary boat repairs, reprovisioning and doing heaps and heaps of laundry. Not ones to miss out on action we also interspersed our chores with regular explorations of downtown Papeete, the waterfront, the market, the Roulette trucks, and an around the island car tour which featured the Blowhole (where Gloria provided shrieks of entertainment as her skirt inverted with the gust of air!) We also hiked up to the waterfalls, which was through a lush tropical forest. Polynesian Paradise Papeete is not, however as all tourists must first fly to Papeete before venturing further afield, it is really not so bad as paradise goes!
22 Photos
Created 16 June 2010
We relished the last atoll we visited in the Tuamotu Archipelago, so hard to leave the pink sands, the endless moonscape coral, and the crystal clear waters. At Tikeahau we crossed the atoll over a wide expanse of old coral where we enjoyed examining the fossilized remains of coral of yesteryear. We enjoyed the fancy drinks at the resort, but only one as the cost was ridiculous. We had a nice visit with Jane and Simon on Elixir by the pool as their kids entertained us!
14 Photos
Created 9 June 2010
We took a small boat across the passage with our bikes and cycles initially on a paved road which fell away to compress coral, and eventually just the coral shelf. With the tide coming in we felt it only prudent to turn back as we were riding at times at or just above sea level!
6 Photos
Created 9 June 2010
We watched the waters of the Tiputa pass under all conditions. We left Rangiroa at daybreak, with a beautiful sunset!
6 Photos
Created 9 June 2010
The pass into Rangiroa has provided much entertainment for us. Diving has been fun, watching dolphins leap out of the waves spectacular, and sailboats battling the currents also amusing. The town which is located between the two passes is bustling on Tuamotu standards! We watched as the supply ship arrived and brought supplies ashore to the awaiting islanders. Islanders in the Tuamotus definitely circle the day on the calendar that the supply ship arrives, as the shelves at the store are pretty empty ahead of that!
16 Photos
Created 28 May 2010
Gaston et Valentine! A wonderful couple who make Toau a very special place to stop for cruisers. They live at the end of a bay on the outside of the lagoon. Gaston has set up mooring buoys in the bay and with his friend Phillip welcome cruisers by meeting them at the passage and directing them in safely. Phillip and Gaston do all the fishing, and lobstering for the big feast. The trio work together to put on a gastronomic spread like no other. Valentine will be remembered in her kitchen with a broad smile and a happy heart. Phillip, filetting freshly caught fish at the fish station, with his weathered face and long beard looking like perhaps he should be in the Carribean singing reggae music! Gaston, always at work with his lean body and easy smile. The pleasure continues to the last moment, as when you pull up anchor and finally brace yourself to leave this spectacular setting, the conch is blown as a last good-bye. Till we meet again Gaston, Valentine and Phillip!
16 Photos
Created 26 May 2010
The south end of the Fakarava Atoll was an obvious playground for us, so we stayed a few days. The underwater world here is some of the most pristine in the world, and of course, there are those sharks. The black tip reef shark are everywhere, but don't pay us much attention. The small resort at the passage into the lagoon with the dive shop is about as laid back as you would ever want. Meals are served to the guests family style in the restaurant which hangs over the coral reef, complete with sharks swimming underneath!
20 Photos
Created 17 May 2010
We sailed to Kauehi as our first atoll in the Tuamotus so that we could then navigate more easily back up through the chain towards Rangiroa, and eventually to Tahiti. Kauehi boasted a small, quiet town with an excellent chance to windsurf inside the protected bay, with no ocean swell to interphere. We found some mantas swimming in the lagoon, in about 12' of water and Gloira jumped in and snorkeled with them! We also went for an absolutely fantastic meal out at a local home at the very end of the atoll, accompanied by Trish and Stuart from Ryanna Marie. It was Stuart's birthday and he was given a flower leigh, and their daughter Naneet performed a beautiful dance for us.
24 Photos
Created 16 May 2010
Sailiing into Taioa Bay with the dark cliffs specked with bright yellow makes for a surreal experience. Susan from Mulan likens it to a velvet paint by numbers look. When we arrived we were the 4th boat, and after ensuring the anchor was well set we took off for the 1 1/2 hour hike up to Vaipo Falls, which is over 900 feet high. The walk is magical, the path strewn with mango and fallen flowers. We crossed back and forth through streams before we finally arrived at a lush green garden which spawns out from a clear swimming pool, all of which is engulfed by the soaring cliffs 1000 feet above. We had the hike and the falls all to ourselves, the experience was a once in a lifetime. The next day we returned with cruising friends from Fly Aweigh and Mulan, as well as crowds of cruisers from the anchorage which was filling rapidly with more boats.
24 Photos
Created 4 May 2010
Michael and I enjoyed a fabulous day with Haiti and her family!
8 Photos
Created 3 May 2010
Many yachtsmen have recorded the passage with a traditional Marquesan tatoo. Yesterday Michael received a tatoo from the incredible artist Bryce, of Taiohae, Nuku Hiva. We will add tatoos of fellow cruisers as we see them!
8 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
We rented a 4x4 truck with our cruising buddies Gordon and Sherry (s/v Serenity) and 'circumnavigated' Nuku Hiva! We took an off road track which zig zagged its way through two villages and 3 spectacular bays, all at dizzying heights. We were surprised to find a deep pine forest on the top of the island, as well as a dry cattle grazing plateau. We enjoyed an amazing meal at a resteraunt in the tiny village of Haiteheu. Sherry and Gordon feasted on grilled lobster, while Michael and I enjoyed a perfectly curried dish of prawns. On the way back from Hatiheu we visited the ancient archeological grounds where human sacrifices were made. I am pictured in front of the giant roots of a Banyan tree estimated to be over 600 years old. All in all a spectacular day, and a spectacular island.
27 Photos
Created 29 April 2010
We anchored in 3 bays on this beautiful island. One incredible morning, we woke to see a huge pod of dolphins, 50 to 60 swimming in Hana Tefau Bay. We donned our snorkels and enjoyed an amazing underwater spectacle. Photos of the dolphins underwater are from Allan on Flyaweigh.
15 Photos
Created 30 April 2010
The approach to this spectacular bay under sail is utterly fantastic. We arrived just before sunset, and the tones of color across the lush steep volcanic mountains gave extra beauty to the anchorage. Everything is much larger than any of the photos depict, so use your imagination and dream on! You can interpret the towering columns either as giant penises, virgins or anything your heart desires! Truly an inkblot exercise, one cruiser even saw George Washington in one of the formations!
16 Photos
Created 26 April 2010
The beautiful kept secret on the north east side of Hiva Oa. Homes boast trees laden with fruit, and highly manicured yards. The home of Jean Pierre who we rescued out at sea!
9 Photos
Created 26 April 2010
This stunning volcanic and dry end of the island offered an idyllic water pool which was made by one of the islanders many years ago from a natural spring. We enjoyed a magnificent hike up the steep cliffs above the anchorage, followed by a cool down in the fresh water. The young Polynesian girl was very welcoming and even collected fresh mint and watercress for us. As we left she gave us a french hug, with the kiss on either side of the cheek.
13 Photos
Created 26 April 2010
Oa, Oa Oa how sweet it is! Dripping with fruit trees and beautiful flowers, steep lush mountainsides and a rich archeological history! We are enjoying getting our land legs back in this beautiful part of the world!
17 Photos
Created 11 April 2010
We left La Cruz,near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on March 20 at 1pm in brisk winds in Bandaras Bay, making 190 nm in the first 24 hours. We then enjoyed 2 days of drifting and poking in light airs. Once the wind picked up we made swift passage the rest of the way. We turned south earlier than the classic route at 123 W when we saw that a large extension of the ITCZ douldrums protruded all the way up to 10 N to the equator. That would mean a very slow passage getting stuck in that! We had a great ride in the south east trades making steady progress at 7-9 knots and one 210 km day. We are now safely at anchor at Hiva Oa, Marquases!
50 Photos
Created 10 April 2010
Just up the coast from the Marina at La Cruz, is the funky surf town of Suyulita, where Nick and Gloria tried their hand at surfing!
10 Photos
Created 26 February 2010
Chacala maintains a distinct Mexican flavour, while still mainly visited by gringos. The beach is fabulous. When we were at the dock in La Cruz with Nick we travelled by car along the beautiful highway through the jungle to the same beach. One of our favorites, although dinghy landing through the surf is not a possibility. We anchored the dinghy off the rocks by the fish boats to explore the small town.
13 Photos
Created 26 February 2010
This is our favorite anchorage along the coast in terms of offering the most variety, and by far the most protection we found up and down the coast. As a result there were several other boats there, they even had a State of the Bay raft up meeting, headed by the "Mayor".
1 Photo
Created 26 February 2010
We had a couple of exciting and fun dinghy rides through the mangroves from Bahia Los Angelos to Tenacatita! Both Michael and Nick drove the dinghy through at warp speed, making the trip akin to one of the best rides at disneyland. The trip from one end to the other is 8 km, so we also had losts of time to poke through slowly and enjoy the birds. No crocodile were sited, although we are told that many live in these mangroves.
12 Photos
Created 26 February 2010
We so enjoyed our visit to z'town where Randy and Lesley showed us all their special digs. We had a great time (and a wet one) taking our kayaks through the surf to visit them at their bungalow!
15 Photos
Created 9 February 2010
A beautiful mexican resort town unspoiled by tourism! We spent a total of four nights in this beautiful anchorage, which we had mostly to ourselves. We enjoyed visiting with the local kids and families who swam out to our boat
9 Photos
Created 9 February 2010
A tiny speck of an island is found a mile or two off the location in the charts! This marvel of a bird sanctuary is the "champagne" of cruising. It just can't get better than this.
22 Photos
Created 18 January 2010
The old town of Mazatlan was charming
12 Photos
Created 18 January 2010
Over Christmas we enjoyed exploring the Copper Canyon, by the famous El Chepe train, which took us from sea level at Los Mochis to Creel at 5000' above. This spectacular area of deep canyons covers an area larger than the Grand Canyon. We took the less travelled path to Batopilas which allowed us glimpses of the Rurarare indians who live deep in the Canyon, some still living a very primitive lifestyle.
40 Photos
Created 12 January 2010
This mission was built up high in the Sierra Gigantas in the late 1600's. We kept asking why, oh why so far up. Take a look at the dirt track, the original path taken so many years ago to see what we mean! There was a festival at the mission while we were there.
15 Photos
Created 15 December 2009
Loreto is a small town a quick drive from Puerto Escondido. We rented a car with cruiser friends Gordon and Sherry and enjoyed the old part of town.
12 Photos
Created 15 December 2009
We hid away in Puerto Escondido(Hidden Port) for a few weeks. The bay is framed by the rugged Sierra Giganta range. We enjoyed the fabulous light at sunrise and sunset and a great hiking area with surprising small ponds of crystal clear water.
22 Photos
Created 15 December 2009
We enjoyed a visit to this tiny fishing village, boat access only. We gave some of our Canada t-shirts as well as a ball game to the kids. We had fun trying out Spanish while Daysi tried out her limited English. We bought Daysi a Learn to speak English book which we will give her on our way back down to La Paz.
13 Photos
Created 14 December 2009
We paddled our kayaks to shore here to look for the small tienda to stock up on supplies. To our dismay there was no cervaza to be found! We also enjoyed a steep hike up the ridge overlooking the bay.
17 Photos
Created 14 December 2009
A spectacular anchorage against the back drop of the small town of Aqua Verde. The homes are modest but very well looked after. Animals roam freely throughout town and on the sides of the mountains.
11 Photos
Created 14 December 2009
Met some hikers here who had walked there from Aqua Verde through the Sierras!
13 Photos
Created 14 December 2009
We had a magical time snorkelling with the sea lions while anchored off this tiny islet. They were very curious and playful and loved to show off
13 Photos
Created 14 December 2009
Isla Coyote is a tiny islet, no more than 40' high which is home to a small fishing village. The island boasts a total of four families, and 16 people! We were warmly welcomed onto their island and enjoyed watching them carve up huge Manta Rays on the beach. The women sold handicrafts and hot tortillas!
12 Photos
Created 8 December 2009
We spent two nights in Cardoncito, and were the only boat in the entire bay. One of our favorite anchorages to date, with massive red cliff walls, small sea caves and lots of sea life, as well as a small beach at the head of the bay
25 Photos
Created 5 December 2009
Isla Espirito is a national conservatory, a beautiful island in the southern Sea of Cortez. We enjoyed several hikes and snorkelling in the area. We didn't enjoy the strong North Wind that blew for a few days, nor the night winds called Corumels!
11 Photos
Created 5 December 2009
We enjoyed a run across the island through the flat dessert terrain.
5 Photos
Created 5 December 2009
Car trip to Triunfo, a old mining town proved to be a great trip from La Paz. We enjoyed finding a out of the way pizzeria where the pizzas were made by hand in a huge brick oven. It was so hot that we were sure that we could fry an egg on the counter we sat at!
12 Photos
Created 5 December 2009
We spent several days anchored in the bay right off the Marina de La Paz. With easy access to the city we enjoyed the chance to explore this special seaside mexican town. We were very lucky to be here on Dia de Revolucion and were treated to a colorful parade down the malecon.
38 Photos
Created 22 November 2009
A gem of an anchorage just 8 miles shy of La Paz, to the north.
9 Photos
Created 16 November 2009
Bahia Los Muertos (Bay of the Dead) strategically changed names to Bahia Los Suenos (Bay of Dreams)!!
15 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 16 November 2009
We thoroughly enjoyed this anchorage where a small fishing camp could be seen along with some huge beachside homes
31 Photos
Created 16 November 2009
A fun drive out to Todos Santos with Mike and Joanne.
14 Photos
Created 8 November 2009
Our final leg was a magical soft sail through the night, calm seas a steady 10-15 knots with a full moon overhead. Surely doesn't get much better. Cabo is a bustling tourist town on the very southern tip of the Baja peninsula.
12 Photos
Created 8 November 2009
Our sail to the gorgeous Bahia Santa Maria was much more gentle than the first leg. The mountains were green due to the recent hurricane which touched down here about 1 1/2 months ago
35 Photos
Created 8 November 2009
We arrived into the beautiful bay after an invigorating sail, to find the small town nestled at the head of the bay. Wonderfully friendly locals here met us with a smile and "hola" everywhere on the streets
32 Photos
Created 8 November 2009
Mike and Joanne joined us for the 2009 Baja Ha Ha from San Diego to San Lucas. We endured some of the highest sustained winds and sea conditions in the first leg ever experienced on a Baja Ha Ha! Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!
17 Photos
Created 8 November 2009
We headed for San Diego at the beginning of October and tied the boat up at the beautiful Pier 32 marina for the month, ahead of the Baja Ha Ha
15 Photos
Created 8 November 2009
We spent a total of three days on Catalina Island, with two nights on a mooring at Twin Harbours, and then a visit to the busy tourist town of Avalon on the last day, before heading to San Diego
7 Photos
Created 7 November 2009
We crashed the Crush Party!
15 Photos
Created 27 September 2009
Our favorite anchorage so far!
28 Photos
Created 27 September 2009
Our trip down the coast was highlighted by a magical trip to the Channel Islands, especially Santa Cruz!
12 Photos
Created 27 September 2009
We enjoyed an exciting sail to San Miguel Island, our first stop in the Channel Islands at Cuyler Harbour
18 Photos
Created 27 September 2009
Arriving in Avila Beach felt like the real California!
15 Photos
Created 26 September 2009
Foggy motoring
8 Photos
Created 26 September 2009
We've seen so many critters we thought we should have a special album for our animal loving friends
105 Photos
Created 18 September 2009
Highlighted by a day trip by bike to Pebble Beach along the 17 Mile Drive
26 Photos
Created 18 September 2009
We enjoyed calm nights at a slip in Santa Cruz while exploring the area by bikes at day.
17 Photos
Created 18 September 2009
Have car will travel!
10 Photos
Created 18 September 2009
20 minute drive from Sausalito, lies Muir Woods with its stand of magnificent Redwoods
13 Photos
Created 18 September 2009
Tucked away across from prestigious Tiberon inside San Francisco Bay- a treasure!
18 Photos
Created 18 September 2009
Day trip to Sonoma Wine Country with a picnic at Prestons Organic Vinyards- life should be so sweet!
11 Photos
Created 18 September 2009
We spent a funfilled weeked tied up to the mooring buoys at the Sausalito Yacht Club
22 Photos
Created 17 September 2009
On August 30th Paikea Mist and her crew left the familiar waters of BC to head to San Francisco on the first leg of their off shore journey.
64 Photos
Created 8 September 2009
The last summer visit to favorite friends and anchorages in the Pacific Northwest
91 Photos
Created 12 August 2009
We have spent many weeks each summer of the last 20 years cruinsing the islands and Pacific coast of the Northwest
53 Photos
Created 6 December 2008
 
Paikea Mist's Adventures
Who: Gloria Hanssmann, Michael Hanssmann
Port: Vancouver, BC
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04 May 2010
24 Photos
18 September 2009
105 Photos
 
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"I am acutely aware of the perfection of the moment, we are balanced between wind and water, between travelling and arriving, between closing one door and opening another" Beth Leonard, Blue Horizons