11 July 2017 | Noumea New Caledonia
08 July 2017 | Noumea New Caledonia
23 June 2017 | Australia Zoo
16 June 2017 | Moreton bay Brisbane
15 June 2017 | Moreton bay Brisbane
12 June 2017 | Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane
09 June 2017 | At anchor Brisbane
04 June 2017 | Welcome marina, Brisbane
01 June 2017 | Scarborough marina, Brisbane
28 May 2017 | Welcome bay, Fitzroy island, Queensland
26 May 2017 | Moresby river, Queensland
24 May 2017 | Hancock island, Hinchingbrook channel Queensland
21 May 2017 | Horseshoe bay Magnetic island Queensland Australia
17 May 2017 | Airlie beach Queensland Australia
What a blow
20 July 2017
I was woken up much sooner than I expected this morning with the temporary solar panel that is setup on top of my cabin being blown over with a very loud bang. So I jumped out of bed not knowing what it was, only to note that it was almost 05.00. I got fully dressed and met Ruud up on deck, it was blowing a right gale, estimated about a force 7 with very choppy waves and chucking it down with heavy rain. We had a bit of a concern because of the mooring we were hooked up to but it held up very well. That wasn't true for some others we saw two boats collide because one had broken free and drifted into the other, another drifted into very shallow water then got bashed around on the ground, another had a poorly stowed sail ripped out and torn to shreds before our eyes. We also saw two tenders ( dingy ) blown up onto the stone causeway.
It blew hard until around 1630 and we just rode it out, then the sun came out and the heavy winds dropped away giving me enough time to put another hour into my tan.
Are wales mammals or a country?
19 July 2017
Now I didn't know that there were two 4.45s in a day.......... until today, but that is what time I got up at in order to get to the 'A' pontoon in Noumea marina for 06.00 there were about a dozen others standing about and a few more turned up shortly afterwards. We were all invited aboard a rather large catamaran by the captain, pretty much as soon as we were all on we slipped our moorings and moved out. Then we were given a safety brief and told how the day would pan out. I then helped get the sails up and a bit of other housekeeping. We then all settled down to a very pleasant 3.5 hour sail down the coast of New Caledonia seeing lots of green vegetation and some magnificent mountains, the temperature very soon warmed up to about 26c degrees with wall to wall sunshine, yet again ( did I say it's winter down here yet?) any way I could feel the tension building as we went along. Then someone called up that they could see the 🐳 whales 🐳 that we had been looking for, so I pulls the binoculars out and could only just see them in the distance but at this stage nothing to write home about, 10 minutes later they were quite a bit closer and visible with the naked eye. ( so that is another point on my bucket list ticked off) we were now looking at two whales a male and a female, the skipper said they would be swimming up and down the area for a while and said that boats were not allowed to go near with engines running (so as not to stress them) but a couple of speed boats were ignoring this rule. The whales were diving down for around 7 minutes which increased the anticipation as to where they would resurface, my heart got faster as the time went bye. After around 40 minutes we got our best sight of the dat they both surfaced less than 30 m away, we did not see any breaching and only a few tail flukes just before they dove down again. We were with them for around 4 hours and for the last hour we watched the female stay on the surface and every so often the male surfaced, the funny thing was one of the women on the boat asked about the male and most of us just laughed. It turns out that she didn't hear the skipper explain how they procreate and what was happening. The journey back was just a nice speed so that we could mingle and discuss our best moment or the day. I met a couple of Aussies who were in their version of the NHS they were nice to speak to and passed the time away rather quickly. This was a special day for me and I believe for all the others who came on the trip. I am now sat in bed a very happy person
Turtles 🐢 at last along with a few sharks
17 July 2017
Up at Early o'clock so that I can get to the marina for about 08.30, Rudd rowed me in and went to see if Fenny was at her boat, to try and placate her about her buoy that we ran over and cut open with the propeller on our last move.
I went to the little shack and booked in for my snorkelling cruise, it took us about 30 minutes to get to the first reef and we went in to the water. It was quite shallow about 5 to 10 feet, for the first 50 feet or so it was mainly a sandy bottom with a few broken pieces of coral. Then we were over the good bit, and the fish just appeared in their 100s NO their 1,000s fish of all sorts and sizes, there were little fish cleaning bigger fish of any parasites on their scales, there were as many different colours as there were different types of fish most of them were so bright and dapper it was fantastic. Now usually I am very good with the camera, however on this occasion I had got the lens pointing much too far down so what I could see was much, much more than that the camera picked up, so I know better for next time. I did get a few pictures though. I now have proof that not only have I seen a turtle but I have swam with them. Not only that but I have also swam with two 6 foot white tip reef sharks and a couple of nurse sharks, (one of them was a 4 foot baby) and a few sting rays. After about one hour we moved on to the next reef, now this one was much deeper I would say about 20 to 30 feet deep. Here we saw very large shoals of fish about 1 foot long also there was rather a large lobster trying to hide under a small piece of coral I estimated that it was about 2 feet long excluding it's antenna. Again the colours were fantastic
We then sadly had to come back to the marina. Our total dive time was over two hours which I thought for a little over £30 with a cup of coffee and plenty of lovely biscuits was excellent value for money. The weather was cloudy and a little cooler at 22 c degrees ( oh but I keep forgetting it is winter down here. Hope all my followers are enjoying this blog, it is great to see all your comments thank you all very much.......and please keep them coming 👍👍
24 little hours
11 July 2017 | Noumea New Caledonia
So yesterday I went into town to see if i could find my tablets that were posted to me over a month ago. I wandered around for about four hours looking at blank faces and people just saying no, I got to the decision that my journey in the south pacific was about to come to an end due to me not getting any medication this was a bit of a devastating decision. On getting back to the boat I discussed my predicament with rude and made the decision that in the morning I would go back to town and book my flight home. I can tell you that I did not sleep very well. I also told my family about my decision.
This morning I got up with a heavy heart ❤️ and went in to town with the intention of purchasing a one way ticket back to the UK. As things would have it I met on Australian woman on the quayside, after talking to her for a couple of minutes she told me to go and knock on a certain door and speak to a chap called Herve, I was invited inside and this chap picked his phone up and spoke for a few minutes, then he said he would take me to the post office. What I will say is almost 6 hours later and lots of walking around and sitting in long queues I am now in the possession of a parcel, with my tablets inside, he also took me to his very own GP for a prescription. The total cost of this to me was approximately 50p (tax) oh and a meal for him is to come. I don't know what it was or is but most people only seem to want to help. Yesterday I was cursing quite a bit, today I'm over the moon again and my journey goes on. What's also real good is I was talking to a couple of fire fighters washing their kit down and have now been invited to their annual party which of course means lots of drinking beer and eating food and maybe some dancing.
Land at last!! well only 7.5 days
08 July 2017 | Noumea New Caledonia
Baptism of fire and head knees and bumps
We should set sail for New Caledonia today at 12.30 if we are not waiting too long for the Australian border patrol to come and give us our clearance. We will then sail around Moreton bay and out in to the open ocean. Customs went well with just a few questions and an exit declaration form to fill in. We passed our last sight of land around 17.30 knowing that the next land we should see would be New Caledonia in around 810 nautical miles and around 8 days. As we sailed towards the South Pacific we were following a much bigger sail boat that we think cleared Aussie customs slightly before us, we kept them in sight for a couple of hours but they were leaving us behind and disappeared into the inky Black Sea that is the Coral sea. Then a short while later into the Pacific Ocean . We then hit the big seas which were 6+ meters high with very strong blustery winds, we estimated maybe force 7, it made for some great sailing, we had waves crashing over us and were getting quite wet, which being in the middle of winter also a little cold, so it was time to put the waterproofs on (which I never thought that I would need down here in the sunshine), we could not find the auto helm so it was 4 hour watches through the night stood at the wheel, steering our course across the ocean, we were hit by a few rather large waves which resulted in us being thrown upwards from a sitting position and getting some large bumps and bleeding heads after colliding with the roof of the wheel house (it is only 5foot high) it was very hard work and rather tiring. My thoughts at the end of the first night were "my God how the hell can we keep that up for another 7 or 8 nights" Attempting to cook or get a hot drink was impossible, but when things settled down the next morning, we had hot noodles to eat. Later in the morning we managed to find the auto helm 😁which then allowed us just to monitor the boat through the days and nights. But still on 4 hour watches through the night.
Water water all around
On the second morning whilst I was on watch I 👀 looked up and saw a whales 🐳 tail in the water just about 50 meters off to the port side of the boat, so I jumped up pulling my camera out of my shorts pocket, I saw it again and got up onto the deck to get a better picture and waiting for it to reappear, I stood searching for 20 minutes or so but never saw it again. I am now thinking that it was a figment of my imagination and am very disappointed. We are now on our 4th day and are still bereft of any significant wildlife. Today I have seen only 3 flying fish 🐟 about 50 meters away from us but that's not what I want.
At 23.40 last night we reached the mid way point between Brisbane and New Caledonia so that's about 405 miles away from land in any direction except for straight down about 2 miles. I did spot another boat on the horizon just before lunch, it took almost 2 hours to get alongside us and through the binoculars we could see that it was a very large cruise liner, we don't think he knew we were here, but he was about 4 or 5 miles to our starboard. At the night time when the rather bright moon has gone to bed, then the luminescent plankton come out to play as we slide on by, they flash and shine to a silent magical tune.
A few years ago my brother Will gave me a micro fibre top which never got used by me, until now and I'm not too sure why I bothered packing it. You don't know how valuable it has become to me, it is lovely and warm down here in the daytime but on the high seas at night it gets quite cool and even cold, so it is looking after me through the nights. Thanks Will 👍
My furtive imagination is running wild with me at the moment. I keep seeing similar themes in the cloud formations, a couple of days ago I could see birds and horses then yesterday it was dogs, today it has been dinosaurs and dragons. Maybe tomorrow it will be rock stars or even sex goddesses.
The sunrises 🌅 down here are lovely with a calm sea they are so tranquil and calming, but after our first night at sea I only know half of it and I bet that when it's rough and blowing a proper gale then it's going to be quite terrifying and deadlier than a deadly thing. This morning is one of those brilliant mornings, I can't see the sun yet but it is shining onto the bottom of the little clouds on the horizon and giving the red glow. We are still waiting to see the elusive wildlife that habitats the worlds oceans.
Why not take a dip
At about 10.55 hrs today 05.07.17 I decided to take a dip in the ocean we were about 248 miles away from land so I jumped off of the boat, we did put a bit of a safety line out just in case I couldn't keep up with Gabber, but I wasn't connected to it unless I grabbed hold, As it was, the boat did start to leave me behind so I could only stay in the water for about 5 or 6 minutes, the water, considering how much there was around me and its winter was rather warm and if I could of I would have stayed in for much longer, no worries about the sharks 🦈 because there aren't any around 😂 still no wildlife to see.
Tonight when it's just me laying flat on my back and I'm looking straight up to the sky's with no clouds at all the stars are so brilliantly clear and bright, I don't recognise most of the constellations but the Milky Way just streaks away right across the sky as far as I can see
This morning at 05.40 whilst I was on watch on my own I spotted land for the first time in seven days. It was New Caledonia at last the last days were ok but nothing to write home about just sea sea and more sea, I kept lookout for any form of fish or mammal and only saw a few fish flying across the sea for maybe 100 metres or so, with only a few birds just flitting by. At 20.00 we will be anchored Noumea, New Caledonia and having a full nights sleep
And away we go again
29 June 2017
Not a lot has happened over the last few days. But it is all about to change, because we are now waiting for the Australian border and customs to visit the boat then when they leave we have 12 hours to be out of Australian waters. At that time we are on our way to New Caledonia some 810 Nautical Miles East and without seeing land for about 10 days. So as they say I will see you on the other side