Sailing matilda

15 April 2013 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
25 March 2013 | Union Island, SVG
10 March 2013 | Union Island, SVG
25 February 2013 | Speightstown, Barbados
18 February 2013 | North Atlantic Ocean - 165 East of Barbados
12 February 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 300 miles North of the mouth of the Amazon
03 February 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 260 miles East of Ilha de Fernando de Noronha
29 January 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 225 miles West of Ascension Is.
23 January 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 145 miles West of St Helena
16 January 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean - 75 miles from St Helena
10 January 2013 | South Atlantic Ocean
31 December 2012 | V&A Marina, Cape Town, South Africa
20 December 2012 | Hout Bay Yacht Club, Hout Bay, South Africa
24 November 2012 | Durban Marina, Durban, South Africa
24 November 2012 | Bluff Yacht Club, Durban, South Africa
16 November 2012 | Richard Bay, South Africa
11 November 2012 | 85 miles off Richard Bay, South Africa, Indian Ocean
08 November 2012 | Mozambuique Channel, Indian Ocean
02 November 2012 | La Port, La Reunion

Off to the Tuamotus

13 April 2012 | Tahuata, Marquesas Islands
Heather
Yesterday we said goodbye to the town in the main port at Nuku Hiva and motored around to Baie du Controleur for our last night in the Marquises Islands. Heather was particularly keen to at least visit this last bay since it was the setting for Herman Melville's book "Typee" (he also wrote Moby Dick after famously jumping ship in Nuku Hiva in the 1840s). We just rode at anchor in the bay and didn't bother going ashore as we had quite a few chores on board to take care of. Chores done, we set off at 10am for the Tuamotus, about 600 miles or so to the South-west.

As we hoisted our sails off the coast of Nuku Hiva, a pod of spinner dolphins came to frolic in our bow wave. They were the first dolphins we have seen since the Atlantic (we have seen whales, but strangely no dolphins!) so we were thrilled to have them around for half an hour or so. As they took off we had a squall come through with 20 knots or so of breeze, giving us over 7 knots of boat speed. The wind seems to have settled in now at about 12 to 15 knots and we are ticking along nicely on a broad reach at 6 or so knots. Who said Friday 13th was unlucky!!

A few days back we visited a place called "Daniels Bay" which is where some of the Survivor series of reality TV shows were apparently filmed. We met up with the crews of Zoe, Southern Cross and At Last for a few drinks aboard matilda before they headed back to the main town anchorage of Nuku Hiva. We stayed over night in Daniels Bay and did the 2 hour walk up to the waterfall the next morning. This is apparently the third-tallest waterfall in the world, and it was a spectacular walk. We had perfect conditions for walking, but the highlight for me was the evidence everywhere of a once great settlement here. This beautiful, fertile valley used to be the Royal seat of Polynesia, populated by thousands. There is an elevated stone track running for a few kilometres through the valley, about the width of a train track, which is still in good condition. In fact most of the dry stone platforms used for habitations and ceremony were in remarkably good condition, although overgrown with lush vegetation. It was a haunting walk through all these walls in the jungle, which left me wondering how it must have been at the height of its civilisation. Now there are just two families who live near the bay, cultivating the area beside the river as it empties into the sea. We met a few of these very friendly people on our way out, one of whom even treated us to a Haka when he learned Heather was a Rugby fan!

If this wind keeps up (fingers and toes crossed) we should reach Rangiroa within a few days. We plan to do some diving and snorkelling there, followed by a visit to Fakarava for more dives if we have time. We need to be in Papeete, Tahiti for our next ARC rendezvous by 24 April, so we still have eleven days or so up our sleeve.

The weather has become far more humid and hot since we arrived in the Marquises, which is a little uncomfortable at times. Thankfully though we were not too badly bothered by the nonos or mosquitos which we know gave others a hard time. We are sorry to have to leave this area; the people have all been so friendly, the landscape absolutely stunning and the sailing good. Let's hope it hasn't spoilt us for the rest of our destinations as we continue our journey around the world.
Comments
Vessel Name: matilda
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg-Rassy 42E
Hailing Port: Portsmouth
Crew: Jonathan & Heather Howard
About: Jonathan and Heather Howard are now back in the Caribbean after completing the circumnavigation. matilda is now on the market and in May we will return to the UK with our friends on Peat Smoke.
Extra: matilda was re-launched in October 2011. Our circumnavigation took 15 months and we are now starting to think about getting back to work.
matilda's Photos - Main
Meeting up with the rest of the fleet 15-26 March
19 Photos
Created 25 March 2013
Photos of our various stop-offs to Grenada.
11 Photos
Created 25 March 2013
After Mustique we returned to Bequia for a few days and then onto the Tobago Cays 7-9 March
6 Photos
Created 25 March 2013
After briefly stopping at Bequia and St Vincent, we went for 3 days to Mustique from 1 to 4 March.
8 Photos
Created 25 March 2013
After St Helena we spent 4 weeks at sea from 22 January to 19 February to get to Barbados
11 Photos
Created 25 March 2013
We arrived in St Helena on 17 January and stayed five days till 22 January.
15 Photos
Created 25 March 2013
We arrived Hout Bay mid December then went to the V&A Marina in Cape Town for Christmas and NYE
24 Photos
Created 25 February 2013
We visited South Africa from 12 November to 5 January 2013
25 Photos
Created 16 November 2012
We stopped in La Reunion for a week up until 03 November
20 Photos
Created 2 November 2012
After two weeks at sea we arrived in Mauritius where our friend Brian visited from Dubai. We left for Reunion on 26 Oct.
21 Photos
Created 25 October 2012
After a great crossing from Bali we spent the last week of September in Cocos - another little piece of paradise
16 Photos
Created 25 October 2012
After sailing from Darwin we spent a week in Bali up till 21 September
15 Photos
Created 19 September 2012
We spent a week or so in Darwin, getting to Kakadu and Katherine Gorge along the way
14 Photos
Created 19 September 2012
Jonathan and Kelsey sailed matilda from Townsville up to Thursday island while Heather was in the UK from 5 to 20 Aug.
14 Photos
Created 22 August 2012
Anne, Baz and Amethyst joined matilda in Mackay for the sail to Townsville for the first week in August
22 Photos
Created 20 August 2012
We spent the first couple of weeks of July sailing from Fiji to Vanuatu with Philippa, Jari, Finlay and Ethan
33 Photos
Created 7 August 2012
Paul and Suzana gave us some of the photos of matilda they had taken earlier in the WARC
11 Photos
Created 7 August 2012
We spent the first week or so of June in Vava'u, Tonga
11 Photos
Created 7 August 2012
We spent 8 days in Suwarrow as a result of the nasty weather which passed through.
32 Photos
Created 11 June 2012
After arriving in Tahiti on 25 April, we cruised the Society Islands to Bora Bora before leaving for Suwarrow on 13 May
40 Photos
Created 10 May 2012
We stopped for a few days in late April at Rangiroa in the Tuamoto Archipeligo, where we had some excellent diving and great food!
5 Photos
Created 10 May 2012
We spent a few weeks from 26 March cruising Hiva Oa, Tatuata, Fatu Hiva and Nuku Hiva
26 Photos
Created 8 April 2012
After leaving Galapagos on 4 March we arrived in Hiva Oa on 26 March after three weeks at sea
16 Photos
Created 8 April 2012
On 9 February we set sail from Contadora, Las Perlas, Panama for the Galapagos Islands. We arrived on 15 February and have spent the last week touring around San Cristobal Island from Wreck Bay.
18 Photos
Created 21 February 2012
On day two in Panama we visited an Indian settlement, where we got to swim in a mountain pool
12 Photos
Created 7 February 2012
We left Shelter Bay Marina on Saturday 28 January at short notice to make our transit, arriving in Balboa, Panama on Sunday afternoon 29 January
20 Photos
Created 2 February 2012
After starting the World ARC on 8 January, we crossed the Caribbean Sea to San Blas for a week of R&R.
22 Photos
Created 26 January 2012
Whilst here we have climbed the Gros Piton, soaked in the volcanic sulphur baths and zip-wired through the rainforest...
16 Photos
Created 6 January 2012
Christmas at Landings Resort and New Years Eve at Bay Gardens Beach Hotel in St. Lucia
13 Photos
Created 1 January 2012
Jonathan & Heather took a day off in Las Palmas to visit Chis, Ange and Alex at their hotel, just a day or so before the ARC start
7 Photos
Created 16 December 2011
The ARC opening ceremony in Las Palmas was fantastic, with a drum band and a grand march around the marina with flags flying.
14 Photos
Created 16 December 2011
10 years ago yesterday (15th December) was our wedding. We decided to take some time away from the boat and stay at a posh hotel called Cap Maison. It was wonderful.
13 Photos
Created 16 December 2011
These are just a few of the photos taken on our three-week crossing to St. Lucia. We have so many photographs, especially of the whales, it's difficult to choose which ones to upload!
20 Photos
Created 15 December 2011
These are shots from the ARC start line around noon on 20 November.
9 Photos
Created 15 December 2011
On 20 November we set sail from Las Palmas. Chris, Angie and Alex were visiting from the UK and took these shots of our departure (thanks Chris)
17 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 22 November 2011
On 3 November 2011 we sailed overnight from Rubicon Marina in Lanzarote to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria for the start of the ARC.
10 Photos
Created 13 November 2011
On 23 and 24 October we sailed from Puerto Rico on Gran Canaria to Morro Jable and then on to Gran Tarajal on Fuertaventura. On the 23rd we had a long encounter with a pod of hunting dolphins, who took time out to ride our bow wave.
18 Photos
Created 24 October 2011
On 7 October 2011 we re-launched matilda after more than six months of work out of the water in Puerto Colon, Tenerife. The amazing result is testament to the skills of the local crew who performed the overhaul, so our sincere thanks go to Ivan, Alex, Jesper, Pepe, Ronaldo, Diego, Horacio, Ronnie and Jamie for their fabulous work.
23 Photos
Created 22 October 2011
On 20 October we set sail at 6am for Gran Canaria. Sadly we had to motor sail most of the way because the wind was right on the nose, but we did have a fabulous sail towards the end.
12 Photos
Created 22 October 2011
On 15 October we set sail for La Gomera from Puerto Colon in Tenerife. It was very calm when we set out, but the wind acceleration zone soon woke us up!
17 Photos
Created 19 October 2011

Sailing matilda

Who: Jonathan & Heather Howard
Port: Portsmouth