Cailin Lomhara

Some stories of our life wandering the oceans, along with some random thoughts on matters either important or trivial. Through words and pictures it is our way to share our life a bit, perhaps even what we learn along the way.

17 July 2019 | Keppel Bay, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
13 July 2019 | 23 17.3'S:151 41.9'E, North West Island, Great Barrier Reef
11 July 2019 | 23 54.0'S:152 24.6'E, Lady Musgrave Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
26 June 2019 | Port Bundaberg Marina, Austrailia
04 June 2019 | 24 45.6'S:152 23..1'E, Bundaberg, Australia
01 June 2019 | 25 07.6'S:158 18.3'E, Coral Sea
30 May 2019 | 25 45.8'S:162 00.9'E, Coral Sea
28 May 2019 | 26 59.0'S:165 19.1'E, Coral Sea
27 May 2019 | 27 46.7'S:167 59.5'E, Coral Sea
26 May 2019 | 28 20.6'S:169 57.5'E, Tasman Sea/Coral Sea
25 May 2019 | 29 55.9'S:170 49.2'E, Tasman Sea
22 May 2019 | 35 15.79'S:174 06.90'E, Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
21 May 2019 | 35 15.67'S:174 06.87'E, Opua, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
10 April 2019 | 31 49.3'S:171 56.3'E, Tasman Sea
09 April 2019 | 31 49.3'S:171 56.3'E, Tasman Sea
02 February 2019 | Picton, South Island, New Zealand
19 January 2019 | Inland, near Mount Cook New Zealand
31 December 2018 | 35 15.67'S:174 06.87'E, near Rssell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
24 December 2018 | 30 16.306'S:174 08.614'E, Opua, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
23 November 2018 | Opua, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Tempting Mother Nature

17 July 2019 | Keppel Bay, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Larry Green
I attempted to post this twice before, clearly unsuccessfully. Should it post now, it is somewhat dated as we have been around Keppel Island a couple of days and will head north in the morning.

Last time I wrote it seems I was a bit introspective, contemplating the virtues of a sunny calm day where one simply has to drive the boat and has time to think and admire the natural beauty of the surroundings. I believe what occurred the evening we spent at North West Island belongs under the heading of "you can't fool mother nature". So, following three days of ideal weather we picked up the only mooring at North West Island, which was just off the reef.
Before going on I should describe the extensive system used by the Australian Government to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Virtually every area (about 19 in total) has a small map published which is color coded for the activities that can and can not be undertaken in various, specific, parts of that area. They also have specific parts of reef areas and waters surrounding the islands that are identified as suitable anchorages, and places you are not allowed to anchor. They go so far as to say, for example, anchorage B on some chart is suitable for SE winds up to 30 kts. Or, anchorage A is suitable for day use only. They have moorings, available free of charge that are coded for size of vessel, wind conditions in which they are suitable and any restrictions on their use.
Back to North West Island. There was one anchorage area suggested for SE winds up to 34 kts. Though the wind was still pretty light, it was a SE wind so the logical place to go was that area. The mooring we picked up was suitable for yachts to 20 meters (we are 16) in winds up to 34 kts. I thought that was great, picked up the mooring with its 2" diameter pennant and hooked it up to the boat. All was calm until shortly after 2100, when the wind and seas started to pay me back for being so nonchalant about calm weather etc. Though I was up most of the night the wind never got over about 27 kts, however the seas sort of wrapped around the island and surrounding reef and provided the most uncomfortable night I can recall having spent aboard a boat. We were simultaneously rolling about 25 degrees from side to side and pitching up and down. No one had any sleep, the cats got sick and all told it was a miserable night. The lesson may be to be cautious when talking about calm seas or not enough wind, as mother nature has a way of saying tsk..tsk..I will show you!
Yesterday we sailed to Great Keppel Island, which is one of hundreds of beautiful, uninhabited islands. We are attempting to make our way as quickly as possible to the Whitsunday Islands where we hope for some warm weather. Nighttime temperatures here are down in the mid to low 50s. Living in paradise has its drawbacks, I guess. .................More

Motor Sailing in Paradise

13 July 2019 | 23 17.3'S:151 41.9'E, North West Island, Great Barrier Reef
Larry Green
Motor sailing, which to the uninitiated is simply driving your sailboat with the diesel because there is no wind. That has been the case since we left Bundaberg, first having driven to Lady Musgrave, then to Fitzroy Reef and today on to North West Island. There is a goal in all this, which is to get to the Whitsunday Islands, another 200 miles or so, as soon as we can. Two basic reasons, one is it is much warmer there, and two it is really our winter destination. The big issue as noted before is it is stupid to travel amoung these reefs at night. Most are on the charts, but not all. Most of the hundreds of fishing boats travel with proper navigation lights, but not all. Most of the whales migrating here from Antarticia stay away from boats, but not all. The picture is clear, yes? The one thing about motoring for 6 or so hours a day, is it provides time to simply relax, enjoy the sights and think. There is a bit of labor involved in retreiving the anchor, and a bit more in setting it for the night. Otherwise there is not much to do (except of course to watch out for all the hazards that always exist but are not visible in the dark) Mostly it is good quite time to contemplate whatever....More later

Clear Sky, Clear Water, Beautiful

11 July 2019 | 23 54.0'S:152 24.6'E, Lady Musgrave Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Larry Green
I can,t say for sure what actually kept us in Bundaberg, yet today we started our journey North, to where the good weather is and the apparently incredible Whitsunday Islands are. We are sailing inside the Great Barrier Reef which has some advantages as well as some downsides. The advantages are the waters are protected by the reef, relatively shallow, and clear rnough to see your anchor in 30 feet of water. The downside is much of the navigation is by eyeball, which means you need to be anchored for the night well before sundown. That would be OK, except the days are really short; sunrise this morning was 06:33, sunset was 17:18, which the math suggests is a bit under 11 hours. The end result of this is it will take us a good amount of time to get to the Whitsunday Islands. However if today was any example one culd not ask for a better start. Not that I am fond of getting up when it is still dark, i.e. 05:00 yet it turned out to be a great morning. The day started wi th a bit of rain, but ended up sunny and warm(er). The picture that I hope is above this post is a Google Earth view of Lady Musgrave Reef, which is typical of many reefs and atols. The red boat shaped thing in the middle of the lagoon is our GPS position. What I think is fasinating about this view is that you can see the coral reef surrounding the litle island and the very large lagoon. The dark swath near the top right is the only channell in or out of the reef. The other things you can see are the "boomies" (Australian for coral heads just below the surface) and the reef itself. The lighter colored part is generally exposed or very close to the surface at low tide, the brownish surroundinbg areas are coral reef which in this case grow from about 200 feet below the surface. Pretty cool stuff and there will be ..........More later

This is late, thought it was posted previousely!

26 June 2019 | Port Bundaberg Marina, Austrailia
Larry Green
The picture above is our actual track from Opua, NZ to Bundaberg, AU, a passage of 1650+/- NM which took 13 days. It was the second longest non stop passage we have made, the longest being crossing the Pacific from The Galapagoes Islands to the Marquesas in French Polynesia.

It has been 12 days since my last post, which was when, or shortly after we arrived in Australia. Some may wonder what have we been doing all that time, needless to say I am about to tell you.
First, several days were spent recovering from really nasty colds. Charlene had just about gotten over the cold she picked up on the plane when she flew to the US about 3 months ago to get her USCG physical and drug test. I, on the other hand had barely seen the full effect of the cold I picked up in the US about 2 months ago. I believe one or all of the crop of 2017 grandchildren contributed to my cold. Fortunately, I do not get sick very often, when I do it can sometimes make up for the years between colds. This was one of those make up colds. Not really uncomfortable, a bit of a cough, and the worst running nose I can remember. Thus, several days were spent simply hanging out, not doing much and attempting to recuperate. It is fair to say we are much better, perhaps not quite complete, but certainly way better.
Next, it is difficult to reconcile the size of Australia with what we have become accustomed to. Yes, it is an island, the largest in the world and nearly equal in size to the US. The population is about the same as the population of Texas. Other than passagemaking between countries, most of our sailing is short trips from one atoll or island to another. Here, the distances between ports are significant, usually in the hundreds of miles. We are currently (still) in Bundaberg or more properly at Burnett Heads, in the Port of Bundaberg, the town being about 12 miles from here. We are at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, which stretches about 1600 miles to the north. (about the same as the distance from Boston to Miami). I believe it is the largest reef on the planet. What I know is navigation is a bit tricky.
First, like most reef areas it is not exceptionally well charted, the major islands and atolls are on the charts as are areas with lots of coral heads, but the well-worn rule of getting settled for the night before sunset is definitely the local, and wise, custom. What this means is that some long-range planning must be done. We will need to know precisely where the next anchorage is that we can reach in daylight, thus a detailed itinerary is necessary. There are a couple of complications, one being the tidal currents and the second the hours of daylight. The shortest day of the year will be in 5 days; accordingly, the sun comes up around 0630 in the morning and is gone by 1700 or so in the evening.
The tidal current is a more complex issue; generally, the tide ebbs to the south and floods to the north. That part is OK, however in parts of this area the tidal range is similar to the Bay of Fundy; i.e. a normal tide can be 20 or more feet, spring tides are more so and tidal currents are frequently charted at up to 3 kts. In some places it is higher. All that really means is that if we are heading north on an ebb tide it is going to take a bit longer so planning must include the state of the moon, the time of the tide in the area we are traversing, sunrise and sunset and all the other stuff that goes into charting a course.
It is not particularly dangerous, but it is important to use all your skills and plan carefully. The local maritime authorities require that we carry all the paper charts for the area, which have been ordered, as have coast pilots and other required items. One other interesting thing about the Great Barrier Reef is that the reef is "zoned" for a variety of purposes and there are eleven zone charts which specify what can and can and can not be done in any particular zone. These maps also helpfully indicate were Crocodiles hang out, as well as other things that will eat you like Bull Sharks, and stuff that will poison you like most jellyfish. We had coffee this morning with a couple that has cruised extensively most of the Australian coast. They provided a wealth of information, including links to web sites that provide all the zone maps, rules, regulations etc.
Back to what have we been doing; a ton of research on where to go, where to buy groceries and fuel, places to anchor and or pick up a mooring, things to be wary of etc. We most likely will have at least another week of planning to accomplish before we leave along with the usual boat chores. I must add we have done some fun things as well; a pot luck barbecue for all the cruising boats here where we met some delightful people (mostly Aussies, and I think we are the only US flagged boat here) and we went to the Bundaberg Rum Distillery for a tour. Fascinating story about how, about 135 years ago some enterprising town folks, fed up with the rivers of excess molasses from the sugar cane refining process, decided to build a rum distillery. They also make ginger beer and invented the Dark and Stormy, so they claim. More later................

Dark and Stormy

04 June 2019 | 24 45.6'S:152 23..1'E, Bundaberg, Australia
Larry Green
No, not the rum drink that according to some makes you feel less dark and or less stormy, but our last night at sea on our passage to Australia. It sort of was the perfect ending to a sailing adventure that started in cold and foggy weather, progressed to nice days with no wind, then a few days of sailing that were incredible, then to having our weather guy suggest we motor when we can�'t sail to avoid having to finish our passage in adverse winds and seas. We had predicted a passage of no more than 8 days, it took 13 to complete. We plotted a course that covered 1458 nm, and actually logged 1649 nm of which 75 were miles we gave up to adverse currents. To assist in placing the last night at sea in perspective I will share one bit of information on how difficult most countries make it to enter legally. The rule is you must notify the Australian government at least 96 hours in advance of arrival or face very large fines. The AUS government is reasonable in it�'s understanding that visitors arriving on private vessels may not be able to accurately predict their arrival date and time. So they require this 96 hour advance arrival notification with the caveat that you keep them informed of any change in your plans. Being a good citizen of the world, I endeavored to comply. The initial 96-hour requirement was met by a detailed email stating we were leaving New Zealand on May 22nd and expected to arrive Bundaberg, AU on May 31st. All of that fit with our normal planning for passages. There were five emails to the same government officials adjusting our arrival date and time. The last two are instructive. The first of those indicated we would arrive between midnight and 0500 Tuesday morning. In that email I indicated little wind and adverse current as slowing us down. The last of the two indicated our arrival was further delayed due to gale force winds with the accompanying seas directly on the nose, allowing us to make forward progress at between 1 and 3 kts. To suggest that frustration was rampant would be an understatement. First no wind, then way too much for comfort. On the last night, and following day for that matter, seas were at least 2-3 meters, coming from more than one direction. As soon as we could get some speed up a series of waves would push us off course, speed dropping to a kt or so. It literally took 36 hours to cover the last 125 miles. (Continued from last night) Sleep overtook me as I was writing this last night; suffice it to say the entire crew slept well in spite of the quiet and calm of the Q anchorage. We are now tied to the Customs/Immigration dock waiting for the officials to inspect us; the cats and the boat. So, More later�...�....

Counting the Days or Not?

01 June 2019 | 25 07.6'S:158 18.3'E, Coral Sea
Larry Green
We are at the stage in this passage where everyone aboard is getting anxious to be ashore, while at the same time starting to feel a sense of regret that it is almost over. We have travelled about 1265 nm so far with just over 300 to go. If the conditions we experienced last night had persisted today, I doubt anyone on board would have any sense of regret; instead we would have been counting the hours for it to be over. The difference is not as startling as one might think. Last night wind and seas kept increasing, with the wind topping out at a bit over 25 kts and the seas at about 3 meters. (about 9.8 feet). The wind was easily handled with a second reef in the mainsail, the seas not so easy because of their direction. The net result was the boat was moving quite nicely until we would encounter a wave at a particular angle which would thump the boat and frequently take copious amounts of water on deck. It was really difficult to walk around inside the boat as well as in the cockpit. Sleep was nearly impossible to get between rolling around and the surging of the boat down a wave only to slow abruptly as it started climbing the next wave. This was not dangerous, just loud and uncomfortable. Contrast that with today, when once the sun was up, we shook out the second reef, swapped the small staysail for the larger genoa and took off like a bat out of hell. Two seemingly innocuous things occurred to allow this to happen. First the wind dropped off to about 20 kts while backing around to the south east making it much easier to sail and the seas came down to about 2 meters. With the wind coming around our angle to the seas changed and our speed went from four kts to over eight. The boat was fairly flat and far more stable. Everyone had great naps during the day. The sailing all day, which is continuing as I write this, was spectacular. Like the other night with the Southern Cross, every once in a while, a day comes along which makes the miserable stuff worth dealing with. That concludes todays sailing lesson. More later�...�...�.....
Vessel Name: Cailin Lomhara
Vessel Make/Model: Tayana 52
Hailing Port: Anna Maria Island, FL
Crew: Charlene Green & Larry Green
Both are life long sailors with a shared dream to sail the world. Charlene sailed her previous boat, CatNip, a 35 foot Island Packet catamaran throughout the Bahamas single handed a couple of years ago. Charlene holds a U.S. [...]
It has been some time and many miles at sea since this "something extra" was updated. When first written we had not yet spent nearly 3 years in the Caribbean, which we now have, we were not in Panama waiting to transit the canal prior to a Pacific crossing, which we now are, we were not ready to [...]
Cailin Lomhara's Photos - Main
Some scenes from Tonga June through August 9th 2018
No Photos
Created 10 August 2018
Some scenes from Tahiti and Moorea and photos of our new shipmate, Jessica
No Photos
Created 18 August 2017
Pictures from the passage to this part of the South Pacific along with pictures we will add of what we see while we are here.
22 Photos
Created 15 May 2017
At 0430 Friday our Pilot/Advisor came aboard and 30 minutes later we were underway headed for a single day transit. Some of the photos are taken inside the lock(s) others of the scenery along the way.
40 Photos
Created 30 April 2017
Our passage to Columbia. Lots of wind, mostly from abaft the beam.
6 Photos
Created 13 January 2017
A beautiful, pretty much uninhabited spot to welcome the new year with it's possibilities
9 Photos
Created 1 January 2017
When all your worldly possessions are aboard your boat/home it rides a little lower than designed. We finally raised the waterline in Curacao
4 Photos
Created 28 December 2016
One of the most unusual islands in it's beauty and charming people. Most of these photos were taken when we were touring the island with Hubert Winston as our guide. There are no marinas and only two viable anchorages, one in Portsmouth, the other to the north in Roseau. We were there through Christmas 2015.
7 Photos
Created 11 January 2016
Some of us, family, friends and folks we have met
22 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
The cats, Buzzi and her cat Bobbi
8 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
Views of places and people we have met along the path.
26 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
Photos of Cailin Lomhara
12 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 29 June 2013