S/V Pizzazz - Journey Downunder

South Africa to Australia

29 October 2013 | Hope Island, Gold Coast Australia
12 December 2012 | Southport, Gold Coast
12 December 2012 | Southport, Gold Coast
05 November 2012 | Gold Coast, Australia
05 November 2012 | Gold Coast
02 September 2012 | Hope Island, Gold Coast
02 September 2012 | Hope Island, Gold Coast
02 September 2012 | Hope Island, Gold Coast
02 September 2012 | Hope Island, Gold Coast
02 September 2012 | Hope Island, Gold Coast
05 July 2011 | Hope Island
05 August 2010 | Southport, Australia
05 August 2010 | Southport, Australia
05 August 2010 | Southport, Australia
05 August 2010 | Brisbane, Australia
07 July 2010 | New Caledonia
03 June 2010 | Bora Bora
09 April 2010 | Panama
05 April 2010 | Panama
05 April 2010 | Panama

For Sale

29 October 2013 | Hope Island, Gold Coast Australia
Hugh
Well the time has come to start looking for a new home for Pizzazz, unfortunately it is very expensive to moor here in Australia and the long term outlook for long distance cruising, seems very bleak at the moment, so with sore hearts and sure we will regret it.
She has been a great boat and she gave us much pleasure and many beautiful memories, but hope she can now give the same to other cruisers planning an exciting adventure.

Happy campers!!

12 December 2012 | Southport, Gold Coast
Hugh
The wind was about 10knots when leaving the Broadwater but later picked up to about 20knots.

Finally out to sea again

12 December 2012 | Southport, Gold Coast
Hugh
So finally we made it out to sea again, was a great feeling, although the Gold Coast Seaway is a bit of a challenge at times. We took Keith & Cheri out for a great sail, the skyline of Surfers Paradise was much appreciated from out at sea.

Surfer Paradise in the Distance

05 November 2012 | Gold Coast, Australia
Hugh
So Surfers Paradise in the distance, and no wind.

Out & About on the Broadwater

05 November 2012 | Gold Coast
Hugh
Pizzazz took us and the family, Lyn & Keith for a jolly on the Broadwater. We stayed on the boat from Friday night to Sunday evening, was great, but the weather did not play it's part, as got a strong wind warning on the VHF on Saturday while preparing to leave, so decided to have a lazy day on the boat, then Sunday we went out and there was no wind, so anchored off South Staddie Island for lunch, had another lazy afternoon reading books and afternoon naps, was fantastic, just a pity no sailing. This is a pic of Pizzazz with her new flag.....

Viewed from the boat

02 September 2012 | Hope Island, Gold Coast
Hugh
This was just a view from the mooring over the weekend.

Ready & waiting

02 September 2012 | Hope Island, Gold Coast
Hugh
We now still have a few sailing bits & pieces to sort out to get Pizzazz completely ready to start venturing out of harbour for new adventures. We hope to have her ready in 2-3 weeks time, for when Keith returns from South Africa. We will be spending a lot of time discovering the local Broadwater and hopefully also north of Brisbane. This is a pic of Pizzazz waiting........

The After

02 September 2012 | Hope Island, Gold Coast
This is the front cabin completed.

This past weekend was a long weekend, so we stayed over on Pizzazz which was great to be back on-board over night, brought back some fantastic memories, the weather was just great and it was a full moon weekend as well.

Hard work on the interior

02 September 2012 | Hope Island, Gold Coast
Hugh
We have also been very busy on the inside. Every Sunday we are at the boat for the whole day, Keith, Glyn's brother, also comes down every Sunday and he has helped us tremendiously, we have now completed the make-over for this year, and have spent the weekend cleaning and tiding up, it is amazing the mess when busy with all these projects. This is just an example of the before and after of the front cabin.

Pizzazz on the comeback

02 September 2012 | Hope Island, Gold Coast
Hugh
So it has been tough settling in to Australia, we have found it very expensive, but finally we have had the time and money to get Pizzazz out for her bottom make-over, so May this year she came out the water and we had the bottom done and we also did the deck non-slip, so she is looking good again. This photo was taken during her make-over.

Movement from Pizzazz

05 July 2011 | Hope Island
Hugh
Well it has been a long time, and am missing it. Well firstly to William Villet, thank you for letting us know about Neil, may he rest in peace, we did meet him as he came to visit us in Richards Bay before we left South Africa, condolences to the family.
Well Pizzazz has moved at long last, our time in Southport came to an end and she had to move, so she is now docked at Hope Harbour Marina at Hope Island which is just as far from the house in km's but only 10 min drive, the drive to Southport was always hectic with traffic.
We have still not spent much time on Pizzazz as we are still setting up the house but hope to still get Pizzazz ready for the summer, she has to come out the water in September/October so once back in the water, we hope to have her back to the condition she was in when we left Cape Town.
This is a photo of her new home for the next year.

Pizzazz on her mooring

05 August 2010 | Southport, Australia
Hugh
So this is where Pizzazz is lying resting at the moment, 5-10 min from home for us, which is great. So after an exciting 3 years for us, it all comes to an end, but not the end...end, we now begin the repairs on Pizzazz and prepare her over the next 5 years or so, for her next adventure. We went to many unbelievable places, met some fantastic people and had some awesome sailing and will treasure our photos and memories for as long as we are able to.

Our new recruit

05 August 2010 | Southport, Australia
Hugh
This is Jazzmin

Pizzazz in Southport

05 August 2010 | Southport, Australia
Hugh
On the Saturday, 24th July, Glyn's brother Keith and 2 kids, Travis & Cherie, arrived at the house and we were all off to take Pizzazz to Southport. After an hours drive we were on Pizzazz preparing her for he last leg of her trip to Australia, Brisbane to Southport. We had 2 choices, to either sail her down on the outside of the Islands of Moreton, North & South Stradbrook, or motor her down on the inside waterway. Due to S/SW winds, we decided to motor on the inside, also to get around Moreton Island, we would have to go 30 plus miles north before going south. We motor/sailed out of the river and then motored down to our first night stopover, behind Coochimudlo Island, early the next morning we motored off just after 7:00am and thpought we could make Southport before dark. We did some great times, working with the current, but then we got to a tight spot and thought we could get through but got stuck, just as we got stuck, 2 jetskiers came past and stoped, they stopped because they saw the SA flag and they were both South Africans, we got off and had to anchor off for the night. Early the next morning we motored off with high tide looming, and got to the mooring at about 14h00 and we were glad to have Pizzazz home. But now we have lots of work ahead of us to get Pizzazz back to what she was when we left Richards Bay, she had covered 20000 miles and needed tender loving care. Our new recruite, Jazzmin, a minature Schnauzer, did very well on the trip, so she has covered her first 60 miles, albeit motoring, it is a start. This pic is Pizzazz arriving in Southport.

Pizzazz in Brisbane

05 August 2010 | Brisbane, Australia
Hugh
So Pizzazz sailed into Brisbane on the 19th July, after an uncomfortable ride, again bits of no wind...bits of lots of wind, the worst stage of the trip. But Pizzazz got here safe and sound.
As soon as the boat got to the jetty at Rivergate Marina, the Quarantine guy's were there, shortly after that the Customs were there as well. They were all very friendly, Customs were on and off, but the quarantine guy's hung around. After 2-3 hours they were all gone. Pizzazz stayed over at Rivergate Marina until the Saturday, until we could sail/motor her down to her mooring in Southport. We were very disappointed with the condition we received Pizzazz in, after expecting the delivery crew to honour their "ten commandments", it was a poor show. We also read through the log and afterwards, realised that we were not told about everything that was broken, lost or given away. We had to wash and tidy Pizzazz after her trip, which is what the crew were supposed to do before handover.

Pizzazz nearly home!!

07 July 2010 | New Caledonia
Hugh
Well it has been a long time since my last entry, but our relocation from South Africa to Australia is really keeping us busy. We have had a lot of delay's with our vehicles and Goods, but hopefully on the 19th July, everything will be collected and they should be on their way.
As far as Pizzazz goes, she is about 700 miles away from Brisbane, in New Caledonia, she has also now had a delay, as the injector pump on the engine packed up just as she got to New Caledonia. Sunday she will have been there for 2 weeks, the pump has now been repaired, the motor is running again, but now it is just wind again. The weather forecast predicts wind only on Saturday and more from Sunday onwards, so we are all hoping Pizzazz will leave New Caledonia on the weekend and hopefully be here in Brisbane before next weekend arrives. We are all looking forward to Pizzazz arriving in Brisbane.

Pizzazz's progress

03 June 2010 | Bora Bora
Hugh
Not been any updates for a while, been very busy sorting our relocation from South Africa to Australia out.
Pizzazz eventually left Panama after waiting for wind and got on her way accross the Pacific. Pizzazz was approached at night with a bright light shining on the boat, it turned out to be the Columbian Coast Guard checking up. The Coast Guard never boarded, but they did take photos of Pizzazz and asked for identification and a few questions. Pizzazz crossed from Panama to Marquesis Islands in 36 days which we thought to be good going, as she did have a few days of slow progress. After a few days of rest, she progressed to Bora Bora and are now ready to sail on to New Caledonia before doing the final leg to Brisbane.
As far as our relocation goes, we have now moved into our house and I have started work in Australia. So will update again, hopefully before Pizzazz get to Brisbane. The Photo is Pizzazz approaching the Marquesis Islands

Pacific, waiting for wind!!

09 April 2010 | Panama
Hugh
So Pizzazz got through the Panama Canal on Sunday 4th April and is now waiting for wind to start her next long leg. We are normally used to waiting for a weather window for the wind to slow down, but in Panama at the moment, boats waiting to cross to the South Pacific Islands, are waiting for a weather window for some wind to blow. It sounds like Pizzazz will be leaving on Saturday 10th April, will keep you posted. This is a shot of the city.

Pizzazz on the Pacific Ocean!!!

05 April 2010 | Panama
Hugh
And then it was on to the last lock system, the Miraflores Locks. This was a short motor entering into the lock at 12:35 (local time), so did not take long to get through the Pedro Miguel Lock. After the Miraflores lock, Pizzazz will be on the Pacific Ocean, with another about 8200 miles to go before Australia. Here she was tied to only one other boat, and luckily closest to the camera.

Pizzazz on Gatun Lake

05 April 2010 | Panama
Hugh
From the first Lock System, Gatun Locks, Pizzazz then had to motor onwards to a bouy where she was tied up for the night. Early the next morning, she made her way through the Canal and on to the Pedro Miguel Lock, which consists of only one lock. She arrived here at 12:00 (local time) and here she can be seen as the doors to the lock opened, dropping her first step from the Gutan Lake down towards the Pacific ocean. Pizzazz is on the right

Pizzazz in the Canal

05 April 2010 | Panama
Hugh
So on the 3rd April 2010, Pizzazz made her way from Shelter Bay Marina, scheduled departure was about 12:00. Pizzazz was eventually in the first Lock, the Gatun Lock, which consists of 3 locks, lifting her up from the Atlantic (Caribbean) sea and onto the Gatun Lake. Here Pizzazz is all tied up and gate closed in the first lock. She was rafted up to 2 other boats. They are behind the ship with the orange colours, and Pizzazz is the closest to the camera, unfortunately this camera was quite far away.

The Panama Canal

05 April 2010 | Panama
Hugh
The Panama Canal is a 77 km (48 mile) ship canal that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Annual traffic has risen from about 1,000 ships in the canal's early days to 14,702 vessels in 2008.

One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the canal had an enormous impact on shipping between the two oceans, replacing the long and treacherous route via the Drake Passage and Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 9,500 km (6,000 miles), well under half the 22,500 km (14,000 miles) route around Cape Horn.[1]

The concept of a canal near Panama dates to the early 16th century. The first attempt to construct a canal began in 1880 under French leadership, but was abandoned after 21,900 workers died, largely from disease (particularly malaria and yellow fever) and landslides. The United States launched a second effort, incurring a further 5,600 deaths but succeeding in opening the canal in 1914. The US controlled the canal and the Canal Zone surrounding it until the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaties provided for the transition of control to Panama. From 1979 to 1999 the canal was under joint US-Panamanian administration, and from 31 December 1999 command of the waterway was assumed by the Panama Canal Authority, an agency of the Panamanian government.

Panama Canal transit!!!

03 April 2010 | Panama
Hugh
So Pizzazz may transit the canal today 3rd April at about 2pm (Panama time) which would be about 8:00pm SA time, will confirm the time closer to transit. This is a pic of all the rope & fenders needed and supplied by the transit agent, Tina. For those interested, and who read this blog today, follow the following link to the canal webcam, to maybe see Pizzazz transit.... http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html Pizzazz will first go through the Gatun Lock today, then she would sleep over on the lake and then early.ish Sunday she will go through the Miraflores Lock...

Approaching Panama

03 April 2010 | Panama
Hugh
After 9 days, Pizzazz closed in on Panama, then continued on to Shelter Bay Marina to prepare for the canal transit.

Pizzazz sailing to Panama

03 April 2010 | Panama
Hugh
Here is a pic of Pizzazz sailing in the rain, a few rain squalls along the way.

Pizzazz in Panama

01 April 2010 | Panama
Hugh
Well Pizzazz has arrived in Panama, she covered the 1300 miles in 9 days. The sea was very lumpy but she had a great trip and Pizzazz handled it very well.
Pizzazz is now waiting for a date & time to transit the Canal.
Hopefully some photos will follow.....

Goodbye Pizzazz....until Brisbane!!

24 March 2010 | St Georges, Grenada
Hugh
Then the final moment came where we had to step off Pizzazz, and leave her .......we will miss her and we will be keeping a close eye on her progress.

So the end of the Caribbean for us, now we have the Whitsunday Islands and Australia to look forward to......

Good luck to Pizzazz, see you in Oz......fairwinds and come home safely.

This photo was the last look at Pizzazz as we left........

The Handover.........

24 March 2010 | St Georges, Grenada Island
Hugh
So the day eventually arrived, after preparing Pizzazz for the final handover. It was sad to leave her but wish her all the best for her trip to Australia



More Port Louis Marina....

24 March 2010 | Grenada Island
Hugh
Another photo of the marina buildings....

Port Louis Marina

24 March 2010 | Grenada Island
Hugh
Port Louis Marina is a very new and beautiful marina, with good facilities.

Arrival in Grenada

24 March 2010 | Grenada Island
Hugh
We had a great sail down to Grenada, we saw lots of fish jumping along the way. So our final sail in the Caribbean was done, when we approached St Georges, a very sad moment for both of us. From here Pizzazz is going the rest of the way without us..........We anchored off outside the harbour, which then dragged, this was now hard work as our electric windlass had packed up on us, when we picked up anchor in Tyrrel Bay........it had done so well and why now...so I had to pull up 40m of 10mm chain and anchor, then reset it, luckily it held the second time.
So now we were expecting the delivery crew, who would be taking Pizzazz on to Brisbane, Australia. They were arriving the next day, so we booked a walk-on mooring at Port Louis Marina, inside St Georges lagoon. This pic is looking at St Georges harbour, with a passenger liner inside.

Goodbye to Carriacou Island

24 March 2010 | Carriacou to Grenada
Hugh
So we spent a few days with our dear friend Dave and Barbara, and knew this was going to be a difficult goodbye, as we had all looked so forward to seeing each other and now it was all over, and we were moving on. We spent 4 days and spent evenings with them as they both still work. So eventually our time to leave Tyrrel Bay was upon us, our home base for the whole year, we sailed off at about 8:00am with fond memories, and set our course for St Georges, Grenada. On the way across we sailed very close to Diamond Island and Ronda Island, we side stepped the underwater Valcano "Kick em Jenny".

Kick-'em-Jenny is an active submarine volcano or seamount on the Caribbean Sea floor 8 km north of the island of Grenada and about 8 km west of Ronde Island in the Grenadines. Kick-'em-Jenny rises 1,300 m (4,265 ft) above the sea floor on the steep inner western slope of the Lesser Antilles ridge. The North American tectonic plate is subducting the Caribbean tectonic plate to the east of this ridge and under the Lesser Antilles island arc.

The first record of the volcano was in 1939, although it must have erupted many times before that date. On 23-24 July 1939 an eruption broke the sea surface, sending a cloud of steam and debris 275 m (902 ft) into the air and generating a series of tsunamis around two metres high when they reached the coastlines of northern Grenada and the southern Grenadines. In 2003, the summit reached 180 m (591 ft) below the sea surface and is thought to have remained constant since the 1960s.

The volcano has erupted on at least twelve occasions since 1939 and 2001 (the last being on December 4, 2001), although none of the eruptions have been as large as the 1939 one and most were only detected seismically. The larger eruptions have also been heard underwater or on land close to the volcano as a deep rumbling sound.

The pic is us passing Diamond Island.

Bequia to Carriacou Island

23 March 2010 | Carriacou Island
Hugh
So after a full day sailing from St Lucia to Bequia, we stayed for the night in Bequia and then left again early the next morning and sailed down to Hillsborough, Carriacou Island. We arrived about 14h00 and then had to check back into Carriacou, Grenada, we stayed the night at Hillsborough, before sailing around into Tyrrel Bay the next morning. This is again a great sunset looking over Sandy Island.

Sail between St Lucia and St Vincent

23 March 2010 | St Lucia - Bequia
Hugh
Our trip between St Lucia and St Vincent was an uncomfortable trip, as must have had over 25-30 knots of wind in a very choppy sea, so had a lot of water on deck, probably the most we have ever had. I tried to load a video we took with our new camera, but battled to get it to load, so photo only.

Leaving the Pitons

20 March 2010 | Pitons, St Lucia
Hugh
So the time came to sail south once more to Bequia Isand and leave St Lucia. This is as we left early the next morning, with a view of Gros Piton.
The Pitons are two volcanic plugs in a World Heritage Site in Saint Lucia. The Gros Piton is 771 m, and the Petit Piton is 743 m high; they are linked by the Piton Mitan ridge. There are still sulfur springs and hot mud pools in the nearby Soufrière caldera, visible remnants of former volcanic activity in the area.
Saint Lucia's local brand of beer is named after these two mountains.

Passenger Liner at Pitons

20 March 2010 | Pitons, St Lucia
Hugh
Just before sunset a passenger liner came for a closer look at the Pitons.

Beautiful Pitons

20 March 2010 | Pitons, St Lucia
Hugh
So here we are on the swing mooring, the colours of the water were unbelievable, with the deep water, then rising rapidly to the shallow shore.

Smoking Piton!!

20 March 2010 | Pitons, St Lucia
Hugh
While anchored next to Petit Piton, it was smoking and we were getting ash dropping onto the deck, also a very strong sulphur smell, as the smoke drifted down towards the boat.

Anchored at the Pitons

20 March 2010 | Pitons, St Lucia
Hugh
This is how close we were to shore and it got a lot closer when the tide went out, not a very comfortable night on board......

Sail south to the Pitons

20 March 2010 | St Lucia
Hugh
So after a night out on anchor, we made our way down south to the Pitons and looked for a mooring, this place has very limited anchoring spots and very few mooring bouy's, so when we arrived, all the mooring bouy's were taken so we had to look for a spot to anchor, we were directed to a place where we were allowed to anchor, but had to take a stern line to the shore, so one of the boat boys helped out....at a fee of cause. When ready to drop anchor, the depth is anywhere between 20 and 30 meters below the boat.....which is a problem, and when backing up, within meters the depth goes to 4-6 meters, so very tricky anchoring here, so we stayed one night here, but with a plan to stay for 2 but after checking out of St Lucia the next day, we decided to move and were lucky to get a swing mooring for the second night.

Pirate ship

20 March 2010 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
Hugh
They still have pirate ships roaming the Caribbean.............

Complete Pigeon Island

20 March 2010 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
Hugh
Here is a shot of the complete Pigeon Island, including both peaks.

Fort Rodney

20 March 2010 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
Hugh
We unfortunately ran out of time and did not actually visit Fort Rodney, but here is a closer look.

Anchored off Pigeon Island

20 March 2010 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
Hugh
So once our liferaft eventually arrived, we moved out of the marina and anchored off Pigeon Island. We were sorry we had not come out and anchored earlier, but the Marina had a special going where we had to pay for one day and get one free.....
Pigeon Island is a former island in Saint Lucia. The entirety of the "island" comprises Pigeon Island National Park and is administered by the St. Lucia National Trust. Composed of two peaks, Pigeon Island was artificially joined to the mainland in the 1970s.
The Arawak people, the original inhabitants of Pigeon island, were driven out by the Caribs around 1000 A.D. The Caribs lived in caves along the shore of the island, and hunted for fish, shellfish, small animals and birds. They also foraged for plant food. In the 1600s, a French pirate, François le Clerc, used Pigeon Island as his base. He forged an agreement with the Caribs, so that they would not attack his ship.

In 1778, Admiral George Rodney, took over Pigeon island, expelled the natives and built a fort on the smaller of the two peaks. This fort is known as Fort Rodney. Rodney ordered all trees on Pigeon Island to be cut down, to increase the range of sight. From the higher peak, Signal Hill, Rodney was able to observe the French navy base on Martinique.

Over the next several years, the British built several other structures on Pigeon Island, including two barracks, mess hall, and a lime vat.
In 1782, Admiral Rodney sailed from Pigeon Island to confront the French fleet, which he defeated in the Battle of Saints.
In 1824, a barracks which had been destroyed by a hurricane in 1817 was rebuilt.

Another sunset...

20 March 2010 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
Hugh
We really did have some fantastic sunsets here......

Rodney Bay beach

20 March 2010 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
Hugh
The one day we went exploring by foot and walked to the beach, we also did a bit of provisioning.

Relaxing in the marina

20 March 2010 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
Hugh
Here we are relaxing in swing chair's next to the pool, sipping cocktails and another great sunset on the way....

Fruit & Veg boat

20 March 2010 | St Lucia
Hugh
This is the guy that moves about the walk-on moorings and the anchorage offshore, selling fruit & Veg.

Sunset from the pub

19 March 2010 | St Lucia
Hugh
And the sunset while having refreshments....

Sunset from the mooring

19 March 2010 | St Lucia
Hugh
A sunset from the mooring, we took so many photos of this sunset, maybe the best sunsets we have seen, were in St Lucia.
Vessel Name: Pizzazz
Vessel Make/Model: Montevideo 43'
Hailing Port: Richards Bay, South Africa
Crew: Hugh &Glyn
Extra: This journey will begin January 2008 and will take us from Richards Bay, South Africa to Brisbane, Australia. We are planning a 2-3 year cruise via Cape Town, St Helena, Brazil, Caribbean, Panama, South Pacific and finally Australia.
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Pizzazz's Photos -