Steen Rally

Follow us on our sailing adventure from France to Australia

30 December 2015 | Sydney
29 July 2015 | Sydney
15 January 2015 | Sydney
22 December 2014 | Sydney
21 November 2014 | Cairns, Australia
02 November 2014 | Cairns, Australia
21 October 2014 | Port Vila, Vanuatu
01 October 2014 | Fiji
20 September 2014 | Fiji
08 September 2014 | Fiji
24 July 2014 | Neiafu, Tonga
06 July 2014 | Tahaa. French Polynesia
23 June 2014 | Moorea
23 June 2014 | Moorea
15 June 2014 | Papeete, Tahiti
14 May 2014 | Marquesas, French Polynesia
13 May 2014 | Marquesas, French Polynesia
10 May 2014 | Marquesas, French Polynesia

Chilling out in Bequia

26 December 2011 | Bequia, Grenadines
Voahangy
After an overnight stay in Vieux Fort, at the southern end of St Lucia, and a last dinner with ARC friends on ENSEMBLE, it was an 8 hour sail south to Bequia. We would have gone faster, had we rigged the gennaker up, but you can tell we're in casual mode, as skipper tells me he could not be bothered and is happy to wallow downwind with headsail only. At least that way we practised our tacking technique and we enjoyed the nice scenery of St Vincent's east coast.

When we finally arrive, the anchorage in Admiralty Bay is jammed packed. We anchor off Princess Margaret's beach, a beautiful sandy beach lined with coconut trees. There is a small bar (Jack's Bar) tucked in the corner offering a perfect spot for sundowner. They have a deal for Happy Hour: 3 drinks for the price of 2, which applies to beer and rhum punch. While Terry will take advantage of it, I will pass on the rhum deal: one a day is more than enough!

So all is good for the first day, then the wind turns to the north, a big northerly swell wraps around the bay and we bop up and down with the surge, which gets worse as we are anchored close to the beach. After 2 nights of this, waking up at 2am and taking seasickness tablets, we move to the middle of the bay where it is blowing over 30 knots, but at least the swell isn't so bad. I am thankful we are on a catamaran, it would be untenable on a monohull.

It's a quiet week, we stay put as Marc is doing a scuba diving course for the week (Christmas and Birthday present combined). Anne likes playing in the surf at the beach, but I prefer to stay on board, preparing Xmas celebrations, writing, and generally enjoying peace and quiet after the busyness of the ARC and the marina. We've taken the ARC flag down, mainly to enjoy some anonymity again. We know where our friends are anyway (not here!) and don't expect to meet anyone we know until Xmas time.

The anchorage is busy: boat boys come and offer lobsters (20EC a pound, twice the price you pay in town!), water, diesel, laundry service... there are plenty of lovely fresh produce in the town Port Elizabeth, laid back cafes and bars. We have not been snorkelling yet, as weather is too windy, seas too choppy, it's Ok for scuba diving though and Marc is enjoying his course. It is full on theory and practical dives for 4 days, I have not seen him concentrating and studying so hard since he finished school 6 weeks ago. And I don't have to nag either! Anne will get a taste of scuba diving, completing a "bubble maker" session in an enclosed swimming area, with miniature equipment and her own diving instructor. She is just as hooked as Marc and can't wait to become certified as well,... in 5 years.

We spend Christmas Eve on the beach, along with dozens of Scandinavian crews who have gathered in force to celebrate. ARC boats TAO and SULYNA have arrived, so part of the gang is back together, and Terry kindly drives all the kids to and from the beach. We'll only have afternoon drinks though preferring to have dinner on the boat, feasting on snails, duck magrets, champagne...I've saved since France. We're not used to eat so much rid food though so dessert will have to wait for the next day. As we're all full of food, sun, sea...it's bedtime at 10pm. Not so for the Scandinavians, who we can still hear on the beach, and see the bonfires they've lit...

Finally, Christmas day, the wind dies and it's perfect for a snorkel around Devil's Table: not the best coral but it's our first "real" snorkel since we arrived in the Caribbeans and the water temperature is nice. Lunch is at Jack's Bar, a remarkably casual affair, with a Swedish Christmas menu to accommodate the Viking in all of us: mulled red wine (in this heat!), eggs benedicte, Swedish platter of meat balls, pork ribs, ham, sausages, potato gratin and red cabbage, green salad with blue cheese dressing and fruit salad. Stuffed to the gills, hot and bothered, what a better way to spend the rest of the day than swimming with friends (for the kids) and read a book under a palm tree (for me).

I can't remember having such a quiet Christmas for years. Even the kids think it's not the real thing unless you have family around, a table of 20, toddlers and dogs running amock, and Mum stressing in the kitchen! What do you think?

Apres une escale rapide a Vieux Fort, a la pointe sud de St Lucie, ou nous dinons pour la derniere fois avec nos amis d'ENSEMBLE, c'est parti pour 8 heures de navigation vers Bequia. On aurait pu arriver plus tot en installant le gennaker, mais pour demontrer notre mode "relax", le skipper me dit qu'il n'a pas envie de s'embeter et il est content de rouler en vent arriere juste avec le genois. Bon, on s'entraine a tirer des bords et on profite du splendide paysage qu'offre la cote est de St Vincent.

Quand nous arrivons enfin, le mouillage d'Admiralty Bay est bonde. On s'installe en face de la plage Princess Margaret, une belle etendue de sable blanc bordee de cocotiers. Avec un bar restaurant niche parmi les arbres, c'est l'endroit ideal pour l'apero au couchant me dit Terry. D'autant plus qu'il y a une Happy Hour: Commandez 2 boissons, la 3eme est offerte, que ce soit pour la biere ou le ti'punch. Terry en profitera bien, personellement je passe: un punch par jour, ca suffit largement!

Donc tout baigne le premier jour, et le lendemain pas de chance, le vent se leve, une houle du nord s'engouffre dans la baie et la, ca ne va plus du tout, on se fait balloter par les vagues qui se brisent sur la plage (ce n'etait pas une bonne idee de se poser si pres!). Apres 2 jours et 2 nuits a rouler comme en pleine mer, ou je me leve a 2h du matin pour prendre des medics pour le mal de mer, on degage au milieu de la baie, ou la houle est plus supportable meme si ca souffle encore a 30 noeuds. En tous cas, je remercie le bon dieu d'etre sur un catamaran, car sur un monocoque, ce genre de mouillage serait intenable.

Sinon, c'est une semaine bien calme, on ne bouge pas car Marc fait un stage de plongee pour 4 jours (c'est son cadeau de Noel et d'anniversaire). Anne n'arrete pas de vouloir surfer a la plage, mais je prefere rester a bord, preparer Noel, ecrire (vous avez remarque que le blog etait a jour pour une fois) et profiter de quelques moments de calme après ces dernieres semaines a la marina avec l'ARC. On a meme descendu notre fanion ARC pour garder un peu d'anonymat. De toutes facons nous savons ou sont les bateaux amis ( pas ici!) et nous ne les attendons pas avant Noel.

Le mouillage grouille d'activite: les "boat boys" vont et viennent toute la journee. Ce sont les villageois, qui tres entreprenants, offrent divers services aux plaisanciers mouilles dans la baie; langoustes, eau, gasoil, laverie, baguettes,....livres sur le bateau. Il y a pas mal de marchands de produits frais a port Elisabeth, la bourgade du coin, ainsi que des cafes, bars et restaus tous aussi attrayants les uns que les autres, et en general l'ambience est tres relax. Nous n'avons pas encore fait de snorkelling, pour cause de vent fort et clappot, mais Marc par contre a plonge plusieurs fois et adore son stage. C'est assez intense, avec des cours de theorie et des séances pratiques en mer pendant 4 jours, en fait je ne l'ai pas vu aussi studieux depuis la fin de l'annee scolaire il y a 6 semaines. Il ne se fait meme pas prier, c'est dire! Anne quant a elle, aura un avant gout de la plongee sous marine, en faisant une séance de "faiseuse de bulles" en eau peu profonde avec equipement a sa taille et son moniteur rien que pour elle. Elle est autant accro que Marc, par contre il va lui falloir attendre 5 ans pour passer son brevet.

Le reveillon de Noel se passé a la plage, en compagnie d'une foule de scandinaves qui sont rassembles pour l'occasion. Les bateaux copains TAO et SULYNA sont enfin arrives, donc les enfants peuvent reformer leur bande de l'ARC (ou une partie!) et Terry joue le Pere Noel en conduisant tout ce petit monde sur notre annexe. On ne restera que pour l'apero, preferrant dinner a bord et deguster les escargots, magrets, et le champagne que nous trimballons depuis la France. Et comme nous n'avons plus l'habitude de manger aussi lourd, le dessert devra attendre le lendemain. C'est donc totalement repus et pleins de coups de soleil qu'on se couchera a ...22h. On ne peut pas en dire autant des Scandinaves, qu'on entendra encore chanter sur la plage autour d'un grand feu de camp.

Comme cadeau de Noel, le vent est tombe. C'est parfait pour commencer la journee avec une baignade en famille, a faire du snorkelling autour de "Devil's Table" a la pointe: le corail n'est pas terrible, mais c'est notre premiere vraie sortie depuis notre arrivee aux Antilles, et l'eau est d'une temperature...delicieuse. On dejeune a Jack's Bar sur notre plage preferee, plus decontracte on ne fait pas: pieds nus, le sable entre les orteils, on savoure un menu suedois specialement elabore pour satisfaire le viking qui sommeille en nous: vin chaud (par cette chaleur!), assiette suedoise de boulettes de viands, ribs, jambon, saucisses, gratin de pommes de terrem choux rouge, salade au bleue de bresse, salade de fruits. Cette fois ca y est, on n'a plus faim, on se traine sur la plage et pour le reste de la journee c'est baignade pour les uns, lecture sous les palmiers pour les autres.

Cela faisait des annees que nous n'avons pas passé un Noel aussi calme. Les enfants eux trouvent que sans la famille rassemblee, une table de 20, des touts petits et la chienne qui courent partout et une maman qui stresse dans la cuisine, ce n'est pas un vrai Noel. Qu'en pensez vous?
Comments
Vessel Name: VOAHANGY
Vessel Make/Model: Lagoon 560
Hailing Port: Sydney
Crew: Terry, Voahangy, Marc, Anne Steen
About:
Terry, 71, skipper, ex-pilot, surfer, aerobatics champion, can fix anything, never sea sick, loves a beer, hates the cold, is happiest anchored off a deserted beach. [...]
VOAHANGY's Photos - Main
84 Photos
Created 20 November 2014
2 glorious months, cruising various parts of Fiji. So many different experiences in one country: lush rainforests, colourful indian towns, blue lagoons, traditional villages, great fishing, fancy resorts... And the best part was sharing the cruising with family and friends. Can't beat Fiji with company! Here is a collection of our favourite moments (and there are a few!!!)
1 Photo | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 12 October 2014
Some of the whales actions we witnessed in Tonga, to read with the Whales action post by Anne!
7 Photos
Created 1 October 2014
Whale watching, snorkelling, bonfires, making new friends...One of the most remote and austere destination, far away from big tourism, with friendly people holding on to their traditions. Weather a bit chilly, but who cares???
46 Photos
Created 10 September 2014
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38 Photos
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72 Photos
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55 Photos
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27 Photos
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37 Photos
Created 11 May 2014
40 Photos
Created 30 March 2014
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 15 March 2014
The time finally came to leave...a month of celebrations and sadness!
30 Photos
Created 5 March 2014
Another holiday within the holiday! Spent 13 fantastic days in Whistler, British Columbia joined by Aussie friends David and Denise. First time on skis for them, perfecting camps for Marc and Anne, loads of fun for everyone.
70 Photos
Created 8 February 2014
Nothing like having family and friends coming for a visit in the sun. Lots of eating, drinking, swimming, laughing...showing everyone our small paradise.
99 Photos
Created 30 January 2014
End of school year in Puerto, many get togethers before flying off to Paris for a family Christmas.
25 Photos
Created 23 January 2014
Day of the Dead festival, a friend visiting from Australia, Anne participating in her first martial arts tournament,...As usual a lot of eating and socialising!
40 Photos
Created 2 December 2013
68 Photos
Created 6 November 2013
Having visitors means putting on our tour guide hat "Voahangy & Co in Mexico", much exploring and eating: ruins, cenotes, beaches, villages, markets,... . I shared Mexican cooking lessons and was repaid with Dutch baking classes from our French guest. We ate a lot of cakes this month! So much sugar, no candies needed for Halloween this year, just parties...
74 Photos
Created 1 November 2013
This is the slowest month of the year in Mexico: hurricane threats, hot and humid weather, torrential rains drive the tourists away and confine the rest of us indoors. It poured for 22 days non stop! We still managed a dive (in the rain) for Father's Day, a day of all you can eat and drink at the local resort for Terry's birthday, and as usual lots of cooking and eating. Just on cue, the weather cleared at the end of the month for the arrival of Marie Suzanne, a French girlfriend. So lots of touring and catching up. Celebrated Mexican Independence Day all month long (it seems), eating black beans and pork verde!
47 Photos
Created 10 October 2013
No excursions this month. Just hanging around Puerto Aventuras, school, friends, ...Sat thru a couple of storms, torrential rains, big winds...Nowhere to go so more time spent in the galley and writing about it!!!
33 Photos
Created 12 September 2013
Holiday month for everyone: visitors from the USA, kids in and out, parties, US National Day celebration, French National Day celebration, Tulum for a night (bliss...) The start of a new food blog meant a month spent in the galley experimenting. Not much in terms of local food, mostly home cooked French. Chocolate cake anyone?
41 Photos
Created 24 August 2013
Holiday Seasons with old and new friends, provisioning and preparing to leave the USA...
54 Photos
Created 16 July 2013
End of school year performances, lots of baking/cooking for school festivities, Marc hospitalised, first tropical storms testing our nerves, road trip to Belize... Eat ceviche, my latest food addiction!!!
15 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 July 2013
Lots on! An interesting road trip to the Chiapas region, wonderful ruins of Palenque, green and lush Tabasco, Anne's birthday, Cozumel by boat, Kids sports graduation...Eat chilaquiles, breakfast with a difference.
26 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 2 July 2013
Settling down and mixing with the locals: kids are off to school, birthday parties, more of Tulum, unexpected reunion with fellow cruisers. Eat: black bean soup!
30 Photos
Created 2 July 2013
Not much tourism this month. We finally made the decision to stay for the rest of the year. So it's head down with school, get together with cruising friends ( they're passing thru while we stay behind) and switching to "landlubber's" mode. Resolved to eat at home more often, back to healthier diet.
19 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
Exploring the Yucatan peninsula by car, to Uxmal ruins and Merida. More of Tulum. Marc's Birthday. Try Flyboarding. Join in the local community of Puerto Aventuras. Xel-Ha. Discover Playa del Carmen. Eat nachos.
27 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 13 June 2013
Landfall in Isla Mujeres, find our way around our new home in Puerto Aventuras, excursion to Coba ruins, discover Tulum, swim with dolphins, eat tacos...
31 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 13 June 2013
Our last few weeks (even months) have been spent in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico. Not much cruising for us, more like enjoying company of new friends, safety of a protected harbor, and relaxing for a while, knowing we don't have to go anywhere for a while...
25 Photos
Created 2 April 2013
2 weeks in an island where time has stood still for 50 years! Road trip La havana - Vinales- Cienfuegos - Trinidad - La Havana. Cruise down the west coast, beautiful beaches, good fishing, diving,... Warm waters at last!!!!
3 Sub-Albums
Created 5 February 2013
To be enjoyed while reading the post!
43 Photos
Created 31 December 2012
Exploring Charleston and Savannah
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 27 December 2012
2 weeks shore leave, driving to Shenandoah National Park: lots of hiking, eating "country style" food, looking for bears, avoiding bears...Long drive across to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to visit the Wrights brothers memorial and Cape Hatteras.
28 Photos
Created 25 December 2012
Caught up with friends, left the boat on display at the 2012 Boat Show, toured historic downtown and US Naval Academy, watched a football game...welcome to the US sailing capital!
51 Photos
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Unforgetable summer cruising around Block island, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard.
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
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46 Photos
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A leisurely cruise from New York to Newport. Quite anchorages, fresh ocean breeze, ...a million miles away from Big City living!
37 Photos
Created 5 September 2012
July and September in the Big Apple. Cruise, Eat, Shop, Walk,...Look at some of our best memories (work in progress, I am still sorting thru thousands fo photos!)
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 3 September 2012
Museums, memorials, parks, bike trails...the most photogenic city.
85 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
First voyage in July, on our way to Washington DC. Passing thru quaint and historical towns, sampling crabs and oysters in hot summer nights... Returned in September, enjoying all Annapolis has to offer (well, nearly), and the spectacle of autumn foliage.
20 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
Where there are some seriously clever people!
22 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
29 Photos
Created 20 July 2012
Shore leave: Make believe, dreams come true, thrills, fast food...Anything goes here!!!
42 Photos
Created 20 July 2012
Welcome to America! Our port of entry, last moments with friends, base for a mini-refit, and our first taste of the USA...
18 Photos
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33 Photos
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19 Photos
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30 Photos
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40 Photos
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36 Photos
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49 Photos
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37 Photos
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40 Photos
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What happens during a transat?
40 Photos
Created 14 December 2011
44 Photos
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22 Photos
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40 Photos
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13 Photos
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30 Photos
Created 17 November 2011
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S.V VOAHANGY

Who: Terry, Voahangy, Marc, Anne Steen
Port: Sydney