R/V Tender Spirit: Now Land Cruising

Join us as we discover new cruising grounds with our "boat" the RV Tender Spirit. Swallowing the Anchor doesn't mean giving up cruising!

19 July 2015 | Unalakleet, Alaska
30 April 2013 | Point Hope
30 September 2012
04 June 2012 | Haines
20 April 2012 | Anchorage, Alaska
17 April 2012 | Anchorage, Alaska
17 April 2012 | Anchorage, Alaska
10 January 2012 | Opua, New Zealand
24 December 2011 | Opua, New Zealand
03 December 2011 | Opua, New Zealand
04 November 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
02 November 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
01 November 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
31 October 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
30 October 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
30 October 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
29 October 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
27 October 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand
26 October 2011 | Off shore: Destination New Zealand

Preparing for the New Zealand Passage

28 October 2009 | Nuku Alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga
It looks like a nice weather window is opening up for us. We are preparing to leave tomorrow, Friday the 30th. Yes, I know it is bad luck to leave on a Friday. Hopefully our liberal bribe of libations will coax Neptune in granting us a safe passage. We are excited about visiting New Zealand and also getting caught up on some boat chores. Tender Spirit will be spending most of her time at Whangarei. We are hoping to do some touring in South Island by land. We are also getting our new furry crew member, which we are really looking forward to. I will post more information about our passage soon. As usual, I will try to remote post every day on passage through the single sideband radio. We do not have access to a wifi signal here in the anchorage so sending and receiving email lately has been more challenging so if you haven't heard from us, hang in there! We will for sure catch up in New Zealand and also post new photos.

Eua Side Trip

27 October 2009 | Nuku Alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga
I jumped ship for a few days and visited my friend Bria who lives in Eua. She is a Peace Corps volunteer. We used to teach together in Gambell and hadn't seen each other in six years. We had a great time catching up. I also enjoyed visiting Eua and meeting the people there as well. It is a rural community. Wealth is pigs, and there were a lot of pigs running around. One thing about rural travel is that one must go with a sense of adventure, humor and a very broad interpretation as to expectations especially when booking accommodations and guided activities. Bria and I had lots to enjoy and laugh about. It is amazing how similar Rural Alaska and Rural Tonga really are.

It looks like we may have a weather window to leave for New Zealand on Friday, the 30th of October. We will see how it develops. I guess it is time to end the vacation mode and finish a few chores to prepare Tender Spirit for this passage.

Safe Arrival at Nuku Alofa

20 October 2009 | Nuku Alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga
We are anchored at Nuku Alofa, tucked into a little motu in about 20 feet of clear water. We had a nice uneventful passage. No wind for most of the night, but lots of current that moved us faster than expected. We wound up drifting around for about 5 hours waiting for daylight. With the reef system, it would have been a disaster to attempt a night entry....something that we refuse to do. Well, all is well. I need to pay a visit to immigration, customs, and the port captain, then some sleep!

Off-Shore October 20

19 October 2009 | Off Shore, passage from Vava'u Islands to Tongatapu Group
All is well on this fine Monday morning. We have just enough wind to fill the sails, so are motoring as well. We have blue sky this morning and lots of stars last night. The stars off shore are incredible. I have never seen such a display when we are on the land, so I look forward to these nights. The Milky Way stretches across the sky. The constellations would be easy to pick out, except I am not as familiar with this southern sky. My constellation guide book was destroyed when the bookcase got a soaking on our Rarotonga to Niue passage. Hopefully I'll be able to replace it in New Zealand. It looks like this is going to be one of those nice easy passages, so we are feeling quite pleased this morning. We are making good time and at this rate will arrive early tomorrow morning.

Leaving for Nuku Alofa

18 October 2009 | Neiafu, Kingdom of Tonga
Well, we are going to leave today for Nuku Alofa. The weather looks fine. The passage is only about 170 miles and will take about 2 days. We have some great pictures of the sailboat races from last Friday. We also have some great pictures of the pig roast last weekend. I will try to get them blog ready and posted when we arrive at Nuku Alofa.

Harbor Day Today!

13 October 2009 | Neiafu, Kingdom of Tonga
We declared a harbor day today. It's blowing in the 25 knot range with rain. It looks like great weather to dig into a good book or catch up on a few indoor boat projects. We also found some movies to watch. This is one of our favorite past times when using the generator to top off the batteries.

I have added a few new folders to the right. We receive questions about Tender Spirit, our destinations, or general cruising questions. We decided to add some general information articles to the blog. If there is something you would like me to write about, please let me know. I will be adding to the folders as time permits.

Blog Painting

10 October 2009 | Vava'u, Tonga
While we have access to the internet, I took the time to make some changes for the blog. How do you like the new look? Are the folders helpful? What would make it even better?
Thanks so much for all the comments you post. We really enjoy reading through them. It is especially nice to know that you are out there, so please write away!
As I was reviewing previous posts, I realized that my writing has taken a turn for the worse, so I promise to spend more time editing and reviewing new posts before hitting the ole' send button!

Timing our Southbound Passage

10 October 2009 | Neiafu, Kingdom of Tonga
We have been listening to the weather reports and also consulting with Kiwis and other cruisers that have made the passage to New Zealand numerous times. We need to wait a bit longer before contemplating this often rough passage. Cyclone season starts the first of November. After researching storm patterns, we discovered that cyclones rarely occur in the Tonga area before December. New Zealand is still experiencing winter weather patterns and the boats that leave too early get a rough ride. The longer we can wait, the better likelihood that we will have a smoother passage. The boats on passage now are experiencing some nasty weather. By the way, it is still snowing in New Zealand. We are not ready for those temperatures! We have no problem waiting for it to warm up a bit! We prefer to remain here in Vavau where the anchorage is pleasant and protected. Once we head south, we will be stern tied to a rock wall at Nuku Alofa. I expect it will be quite crowded with many others also waiting for the right weather window to go south. We will be joining the crowds soon enough.

After much soul searching, and probably too much time on the internet, we've decided to throw caution to the wind, and get a dog. I have picked out a puppy. She is a toy poodle about 4 weeks old. She waiting for us in New Zealand. The reason we chose a toy poodle is because she will be small enough to be comfortable with long stays on the boat, intelligent, and non-shedding. Her is a blue (dark grey), the color of the black pearls, so we are calling her Pearl. The breeder shows and breeds poodles, so she is already starting with early training....like recognizing her name and early grooming. She will be ready to be picked up when we get to New Zealand....so we will have something to look forward to on this rough passage. It will take a lot more work, time, and money to have the dog because of customs regulations we will have to conform with. This has been a difficult decision, but both Chuck and I really miss having a critter around. It's hard to believe, but it has been almost 5 years since we've had a dog. Even Chuck is making noise that we need the pitter-patter of doggie feet around. We will be training her to bark when the electronic alarms go off because Chuck can't hear them...and I am tired of all night anchor watches! I can't hear the anchor alarm when sleeping either. So our new friend will also have a very important job on board. We can't wait to bring her home!
Vessel Name: Tender Spirit
Vessel Make/Model: Hans Christian 33
Hailing Port: Sitka, Alaska
Crew: Joan & Chuck
About: Joan has obviously failed the program to quit sailing. Chuck, the ever patient spouse quietly enjoys the adventure. SHHH....he's a closet sailor......hasn't come out yet,.....and don't tell his commercial fishing buddies that he's having fun!!!!
Extra: There are only two unbendable rules on this vessel: 1. We can change our mind. 2. We can change direction. Everything else is flexible.
Tender Spirit's Photos - S/V Tender Spirit (Main)
17 Photos
Created 14 August 2011
61 Photos
Created 22 December 2010
Take a peek out our short stay!
33 Photos
Created 22 December 2010
More fun at Robinson Crusoe Island, Plus an inland river trip!
32 Photos
Created 23 July 2010
A beautiful multicultural country! Our Fiji adventures begins.
75 Photos
Created 22 July 2010
17 Photos
Created 15 January 2010
15 Photos
Created 3 December 2009
Kingdom of Tonga 2009
39 Photos
Created 3 December 2009
28 Photos
Created 6 September 2009
This smallest of nations has people with big hearts. Niue is unique in its beautiful caves and chasms. Lush jungles and Humpback whales add to this amazing place.
37 Photos
Created 6 September 2009
15 Photos
Created 31 July 2009
29 Photos
Created 31 July 2009
25 Photos
Created 26 June 2009
16 Photos
Created 26 June 2009
Great times at a beautiful place with warm friendly people!
28 Photos
Created 26 June 2009
My first attempt at using an underwater camera. Photos taken at Moorea.
38 Photos
Created 26 June 2009
20 Photos
Created 27 May 2009
43 Photos
Created 11 May 2009
22 Photos
Created 11 May 2009
May-August 2008
62 Photos
Created 14 August 2008
A small view of a large, dynamic city.
16 Photos
Created 10 January 2008
10 Photos
Created 19 December 2007
10 Photos
Created 9 November 2007
13 Photos
Created 8 November 2007

Adventures of Tender Spirit

Who: Joan & Chuck
Port: Sitka, Alaska
THANK YOU to all the people who have helped us along our way. We would not have made it this far without you! Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. ********************** ********************** web site hit counter ************************** ************************** MOON PHASE FOR THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE