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.

11 November 2018 | 30 16.306'S:174 08.614'E, South Pacific Ocean
09 November 2018 | 26 22.15'S:173 34.491'E, South Pacific Ocean
08 November 2018 | 24 33.91'S:173 53.27'E, South Pacific Ocean
06 November 2018 | 20 03.619'S:175 28.192'E, South Pacific Ocean
02 November 2018 | 17 48.35'S:177 22.95'E, Port Denarau, Fiji, South Pacific Ocean
09 October 2018 | 17 46.39'S:177 11.1'E, Malolo Island, Fiji, South Pacific Ocean
29 August 2018 | 17 46.39'S:177 11.1'E, Fiji, South Pacific Ocean
19 August 2018 | 17 46.34'S:177 23.01'E, Viti Lavu, Fiji, South Pacific Ocean
15 August 2018 | 17 46.34'S:177 23.01'E, Viti Lavu, Fiji, South Pacific Ocean
12 August 2018 | 18 05.06'S:177 08.61'W, South Pacific Ocean
10 August 2018 | 18 41.34'S:174 01.8'W, Tonga, South Pacific Ocean
26 July 2018 | 18 43.27'S:174 05.25'E, Tonga, South Pacific Ocean
18 June 2018 | 90 39.496'S:173 58.966'W, Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga
01 June 2018 | Neiafu, Tonga
29 May 2018 | 20 13.42'S:175 02.87'W, Soth Pacific Ocean
27 May 2018 | 21 08.27'S:175 10.98'W, Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga
24 May 2018 | 23 36.64'S:176 41.53'W, South Pacific Ocean
22 May 2018 | 28 21.9.'S:179 54.18'E, South Pacific Ocean
22 May 2018 | 28 27.'S:179 50.52'E, South Pacific Ocean
21 May 2018 | 35 18.56'S:174 07.90'E, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Never a Dull Moment

11 November 2018 | 30 16.306'S:174 08.614'E, South Pacific Ocean
Larry Green
The other day when I wrote excitedly about a Crescent Moon some may recall I mentioned it was a harbinger of new, good things to come. Following that post I find the need to rephrase that a wee bit, namely take out the �"good things�" part. Let me explain. Following that post we were motor sailing in very light winds and the engine oil pressure alarm sounded. Certainly not a sign of good things happening. Shut down the engine right away, opened the engine compartment and checked the oil. Seems most of it had disappeared. Also, not a sign of good things. On further examination there appeared to be an excessive amount of oil outside the engine in one particular place. Not a puddle representing the three gallons or more that disappeared but enough to cause a closer look. The oil appeared to be coming from a small canister shaped device, located in a very difficult place to get at. There were references to the oil pressure sensing switch, but no diagrams or photos; process of elimination convinced me it was said sensing switch. We put three gallons of motor oil in the engine and started it to see if in fact that was where the oil had leaked out. It was. The way the device was assembled; i.e. attached to a copper tube coming out of the engine block with a compression nut attaching the copper tube to the fitting, it seemed we could remove the leaky device, plug the copper tube and be on our way. Easier said than done. This is a part that is never serviced and like all engines, when it was built one of the final tasks is to spray some very hard paint on all the parts. To make a very long story short, the harder we tried to unbolt the fitting the less likely it seemed we would get it off. Steve, part of our crew for this trip and a really good guy was helping and between the two of us we managed to break the copper tube right at the point it went into the block. As all sailors never through anything away I happen to have three large (Costco Mixed Nuts) jars full of nuts, bolts and screws. We found several of suitable size and several hours later we had firmly screwed a self-tapping screw covered with plumbers�' tape into th e inside of the copper tube remaining inside the block. Presto, no more oil leak and since it was the pressure sensor, initially we had no more oil pressure gauge or any other instruments. Before starting off again we decided to take a short break during which Steve decided to fulfil either a lifetime dream or bucket list item and swim in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Of course, we egged him on, suggesting he was great chum for sharks and other predators but to no avail. In he went, having as much fun as a kid at Christmas. Michelle, his wife and the rest of our crew, dutifully recorded the entire event. It was quite a sight. Actually, Steve had told me before we left that swimming mid Pacific was something he really wanted to do and I had promised to accommodate him if at all possible. The oil leak was not what I had in mind. Sounds like the successful end to another saga at sea. Not quite. After the swim and getting under way, I took a nap. A bit later I was checking on things and noticed, with a bit of alarm that we not only had no engine instruments but our alternators were not working. Not a sign of good things. After thinking about it for a bit I recalled the oil pressure sensor was connected to a brown and white wire, and if memory served me correctly, that was used to power the voltage regulator and served as a delay in loading the engine by waiting until full oil pressure was reached before loading the engine with the alternators. Took the ignition switch panel off and shortly found that the regulator had two sources of power, the ignition switch itself and the oil pressure sensor. Just for the hell of it I unplugged the oil pressure gauge and presto, all the instruments worked and the alternators were charging. Now that was a sign of good things happening from a crescent moon. Mor e later�...�...�...�...�...�...�...

A Crescent Moon

09 November 2018 | 26 22.15'S:173 34.491'E, South Pacific Ocean
Larry Green
The weather has been so poor until last night that I never gave much thought to the moon. On clear nights one can always see the moonrise and set as well as watch it travel across the night sky. We have had beautiful star lit nights, interspersed with clouds so really did not think much of the moon. Until a few moments ago I went on deck and there it was! A big beautiful crescent moon, new today if I am correct. I am told it harbors a sense of good things to come, so will accept that as, at the very least, a good omen for the weather during the remaining days of our passage to NZ. Also, our New Zealand crew's family emailed earlier today and told us our Tracker had not reported our position for a couple of days. I was able to rectify that from here, and understand it is now working again. So Thanks and More later................

Zero Three Hundred

08 November 2018 | 24 33.91'S:173 53.27'E, South Pacific Ocean
Larry Green
As the title suggests it is the middle of the night and I have just come on watch. However, the sea, as far as the eye can see is empty, it is also empty as far as the radar can see which is about 48 NM. The sky however is full, I honestly have no idea how many stars there are but it appears everyone of them is out and shining tonight. So, as I frequently do on nights like this, I alternate my time on deck looking to make sure there is still nothing and coming below to the �"navigation station�' to either do some ships work or write while keeping an eye on the radar. The boat has duplicate displays at the helm and in the nav station thus it is safe, effective and sometimes quite warmer and drier than on deck. Tonight, like the rest of the passage, warm and dry is welcome. This has been the slowest, most uncomfortable passage I can remember. It is not dangerously uncomfortable, just miserably so. The wind has been pretty consistently at or somewhat below 20 kts. Tonight, for the first time it is down to about 15. The seas are a different story. When we departed Fiji, the seas were forecast to have a long period swell of about 3-4 m. The long period means that the time between waves was considerable, say 20 to 25 seconds making the seas sort of like driving over rolling hills in the countryside. The bad news, wet part was the 2+m wind driven waves on top of the swell. These were coming from at least a couple of directions and when two arrived at the boat at the same time we had water coming over the deck, nearly filling the cockpit once or twice and soaking everything and everyone in sight. These seas also changed the usual motion of the boat from a pretty comfortable ride to something one is more likely to find in an amusement park; i.e. jerky quick motions in multiple directions at the same time. If one were to think back to their youth and participating in such rides the first thought that may come to mind is remembering how you wish you hadn�'t eaten that hot dog. Half the crew is just now beginning to get their sea legs. Speaking of legs, it is difficult to walk in these conditions and we are well equipped with handholds just about everywhere. The net result is you are always walking from handhold to handhold yet even though your hand is holding you upright that does not prevent your body from banging into a bulkhead or something else. We all have a few bruises. Incidentally, according to the forecasts we are through with all that and should have steadily improving weather. Many readers who are sailors may be thinking why not just bear off for more comfortable conditions then turn back to your course when the situation improves. We did, from the beginning. Some caution is required in that if we go too far west, we will have a difficult time getting back to our course which takes us down the east coast of New Zealand. The weather patterns here are such that you have frequent frontal systems, like one or two a week, which you need to take advantage of or you can end up with strong winds right on the nose for the last couple hundred miles. OK no more complaining about the lousy weather here in the south Pacific and the trials and tribulations of this lifestyle. However, there is also the issue of Bobbi and Buzzy, the ships cats. They are definitely fair-weather sailors, loving it when we are anchored in a peaceful harbor or cove, not so much when they hear the rattle of the anchor chain coming up. They generally have their favorite perch for when we go to sea. Frequently Bobbi is hidden behind the books on one of the bookshelves and Buzzy is either in the cockpit or curled up on top of the freezer. Not this trip. At the beginning I mentioned that I was in the navigation station, a room with sort of an L shaped desk, all sorts of electronic and communications on the walls, a small swivel chair mounted to a bracket. The floor space is no more than 2 feet by 2 feet. There are all sorts of things stored under the desk, which generally stay in place. Not this trip. And both cats have decided this is a cool place to hide out. As a result of stuff not staying in place the cats can burrow in behind things and under things. I was un aware of this until the other day when I sat down to write in the log book. After sitting, I pulled my feet through the doorway and 2hile placing them on the floor heard the unmistakable hiss of a cat that is being stepped on. I now sit sideways with my feet out the door. More later�...�...�...�...�...�.....

Fiji; Bound for New Zealand

06 November 2018 | 20 03.619'S:175 28.192'E, South Pacific Ocean
Larry Green
Fiji Bound for NZ

We are no longer in transition, we are sailing, bound for New Zealand. Not an auspicious start, even though we steadfastly avoid leaving on a Friday. There are some who might think, what could be inauspicious about sailing from Fiji to New Zealand? To begin with we were using an agent for assistance clearing customs. We had requested a clearance to be completed at 0930; around that time our agent, who is really good and keeps her promises, informed us that the Customs people had to clear a cruise ship first. Then we learned that the two Customs agents would split up between the two marinas after the cruise ship was sorted, but they only had one stamp. Anyone who has ever travelled internationally knows about the affinity Customs agents have for stamping multiple documents. Thus, they had to get an additional official stamp. That didn�'t sound too bad, but then the hobos showed up. Most Americans think of hobos as quaint people who ride freight trains for free or perhaps work in a circus, almost like leprechauns. However, in certain parts of the sailing community the term is used to define a class of sailors that will leave a place with every penny they arrived with, the same clothes they had on last month and have most likely skipped the fresh water showers. In this circumstance the hobos represented about 15 sail boats wanting to clear out and they all descended on the Customs office about 0900. Some had handwritten copies of some of the required paperwork, others were clueless about what documents they needed. As I have previously commented the Fijian people are among the most polite in the world. So, they felt compelled to help the throngs of people waiting in their office when they returned from the cruise ship. Not only did they decipher illegible handwriting and provide the requisite forms each person needed, they also made 3 copies of each form on a machine that did one page at a time. At 1315 they showed up with our agent and we were backing out of our berth at 1330. We were the good guys, had all our documents complete and signed along with the correct number of copies of each meters or so, , so all the Customs agent had to do was stamp the hell out of everything. Meanwhile, back to sailing. We have had big seas, about 3 meters or so and wind in the 20-25 knot range. Not at all dangerous or unmanageable, but not a lot of fun. We have been �"pooped�" three or four times (a nautical term referring to when a wave enters the cockpit) and are presently sailing a course west of New Zealand for comfort, and expect to be turning sometime tomorrow, when the wind and seas ease, towards our destination. We have not gone out of our way in heading more westerly, so hopefully when we do turn we will not have added any miles to our passage�...�...�...�...�...�....More later

Transitions

02 November 2018 | 17 48.35'S:177 22.95'E, Port Denarau, Fiji, South Pacific Ocean
Larry Green
Transitions are always interesting. Here in Fiji we are in the middle of spring, transitioning from winter to summer, which is cyclone season. So, on Monday we expect to depart for New Zealand, which will be our summer home in order to avoid those nasty Pacific cyclones. We are fortunate to have a delightful couple who flew here from Christchurch, NZ yesterday and will be sailing with us. Steve and Michelle are successful entrepreneurs with three young kids at home, being cared for by their grandparents. They have some decent sailing experience and we expect they will be a great crew for our short 1200 NM journey to Kiwi land. The passage from Fiji will be somewhat different than the one last year from Tonga. Fiji is further west than Tonga, so we are less likely to have downwind sailing conditions, in fact the best we could expect would be winds on the beam most of the way. That can make for faster sailing, and occasionally a bit more motion on the boat. The other difference is there is no place to stop anywhere near our route. Last year going to Tonga we had some lousy weather headed our way and were able to duck into Minerva Reef and avoid it. (That was an uninhabited atoll, barely showing anything above water at low tide, no markers to guide us, bit we had some good coordinates. There were nearly 40 other sailboats in there) The good news is we have a great weather window starting Monday morning. Two sets of conditions make it a seemingly good time to leave. First a low pressure system with 30+kts of wind and 3-4 meter seas will pass by us Sunday and winds and seas will have diminished by Monday. Unless the forecast changes, there is a large high pressure system sitting just NW of New Zealand. If all goes well we should have a great sail. One of the things I have been doing to get ready to leave, besides boat stuff, is dealing with all the paperwork necessary to leave Fiji, have our new crew signed onto the boat, have the cats imported into New Zealand, obtain Visa�'s for NZ, fill out the Advance Arrival paperwork for New Zealand etc. It is a royal pain filing out and emailing all these forms. It was also a pain to get our $3000FJ bond back for the cats. What is that to you may wonder. Fiji does not allow any domestic pets to be imported, unless they have been quarantined aboard the boat for 6 months. To enforce their rules, they have a straightforward solution. For each animal you post a $1500 FJ bond, refundable prior to departure. Should your animal be caught on land they keep the bond, fine you an additional $1500 and put the animal down. Their rules work, and everyone obeys them. The thing is, you really want to get the bond back well before your departure date as it is returned in cash in FJ $. Converting those to any other currency is expensive and impossible outside Fiji. The plan is to buy fuel, pay marina charges, grocery shop and settle up any other outstanding bills in cash. As I write this it is 4:45 PM on Friday. About 15 minutes ago the official in charge came to the boat with the refund. Fortunately, I have arranged all the things we have done to be on one invoice which I can pay using the cash Monday morning. This is really a stressful life�...�...More later

Fiji Time

09 October 2018 | 17 46.39'S:177 11.1'E, Malolo Island, Fiji, South Pacific Ocean
Larry Green
A couple of weeks ago a dear friend reminded me it had been some time since my last blog post. I explained that most of my writing was done while on passage, and that last year when we were passagemaking on a regular basis it was fairly easy to write often. This year has been quite different in that we have only made two passages, New Zealand to Tonga, then Tonga to Fiji. Therefore, my self-rationalization suggested nothing much had changed. However, a moment of introspection made me realize I am fully converted to Island Time. In some cultures, Island Time behavior could be considered lazy or shiftless. (The Thesaurus has ample suggestions for behaviors that perfectly fit) The Antonyms i.e. energetic or lively tell the rest of the tale. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it.

One may wonder what we have been doing in this paradise. Not exactly what we planned, but we have not been exactly idle. Some scuba diving and snorkeling, some racing, some socializing, some small boat projects, some reading and some required paperwork. I shall explain, so please read on.

Malolo Island is home to the Musket Cove Yacht club, which has hosted a sailing regatta for the past 35 years. It is a five-day event complete with three �"days of racing�" pirate themed beach barbeques, regular beach parties and lots of opportunities to meet new people and catch up with others we have met along the way. It is mostly sponsored by the various yachting facilities in Australia and New Zealand who host short seminars on topics like weather in the South Pacific and where to spend money on your boat.

Like most cruising sailors I do not race! Except when there is another boat in sight then this thing happens where tweaking the sails for better speed becomes an obsession. The three races of the regatta were no different except there were nearly 100 boats participating. No handicaps, no allowances for the 4 really fast boats designed for racing. (OK they included a Santa Cruz 52, a couple of one off 55 foot New Zealand builds and a racing trimaran from Hawaii) The balance of the fleet was fairly evenly split between monohulls and catamarans.

The first race was to Treasure Island and all that you really needed to do was get there for the Pirate Invasion. There was not much wind at all so most everyone ended up motorsailing (allowed for this race). There were the usual contests and activities one would expect at a Pirate event on an isolated Pacific island. The fact that nearly half the boats came equipped with young children kept the entire week reasonable.

The second race, called the Sandbar Race started inside the inner reef, went through a narrow pass, 5 miles or so to a buoy and back through the narrow pass. The finish line was where the beach party started. There was a bit of mis communication or perhaps mis interpretation of how the winner would be determined. Our crew, which included Charlene and Slater was augmented with a young couple (originally from the US, now Kiwis) named Inky and Jess. Inky is an excellent sailor and Jess is less experienced and a fast learner. So, this misunderstanding concerned the absolute certainty of part of this crew of 5 that the first female skipper that got to the beach and the host tent would be the winner. So, the two females on the boat had this idea; how about if we jump overboard just after the finish line and swim to the beach and we can say we were the skipper and win a Grande prize. As we sail across the finish line both women dove overboard and swam like mad to the beach. (it looked a bit like they were the advance team at the invasion of Normandy) We guys anchored the boat, launched the dingy and motored ashore, heading for the tent to see this prize. That is where the misunderstanding came to light. No one was quite sure where the idea came from and there was no prize. All the folks on the beach and in the tent were amazed that two women wanted a beer that bad that they leapt overboard and swam ashore. I do thing they got a free beer.

The last, longest (about 25 NM) and most serious race was the �'round Malolo classic. For that race around the island, between the reefs and the rocks on shore was sailed in about 25 kts of wind. Since Slater has raced his entire life he was tactician and called sail trim. We sailed this boat harder than I can remember and our average speed for the course was 9.6. We finished right behind the 5 race boats previously mentioned, and a couple of 60+ foot catamarans. Our prize was labeled First, corrected time; since there were no handicaps being used we guessed that meant we were first of the non-racing machines. The prize was a woven basket with bottles of water and soda along with a couple of beer can cozies. It still felt really good.

Slater�'s plan had always been to get off the boat in Fiji and find a boat going to Australia. He had a couple of leads so after the Regatta we went back to Port Denarau where he finalized plans to sail on a Hylas 54 (nice boat) with a couple from California to Australia. Therein started the paperwork. What many sailors do not understand well is the responsibility the owner/captain has to crew. When you check into a country the ships crew list is part of the paperwork needed. If a crew member leaves your boat the obligation is to have them officially signed off the crew list and, if transferring to another boat, signed on to that boat. It takes a letter from each captain acknowledging their responsibilities, everyone�'s passport and a few official documents. On the surface it sounds like something that could be avoided, but it is not. When we go to get our outward clearance, I have to produce everyone who is signed on to the crew list. If not the first question asked is , �"what did you do with Mr. X and please provide proof you did not dump him over the side or let him enter our country illegally.�" So, pain in the butt, but necessary.

Speaking of paperwork one of my next tasks was completing the 18-page application to import the cats to New Zealand. And obtaining a letter from the Quarantine Facility, much like a reservation confirmation) It only took a day and a half. Also, since we were in New Zealand 6 months and three days, we can not re-enter the country on Visa Waiver (the ability of many countries citizens to show up and be granted a visitor visa on arrival) The rule is convoluted in that if you stay more than six months (in this case three days) you must go through the on-line visa application process. One long day filling out the forms and providing the necessary documentation.

Meanwhile we have been interviewing replacement crew for Slater. I am happy to say we have a husband/wife team flying from Christchurch NZ to Join us November 1st for the passage back to New Zealand.

Maybe I am on Fiji Time, yet I seem to be pretty busy. More later�...�...�...�...�...�...
Vessel Name: Cailin Lomhara
Vessel Make/Model: Tayana 52
Hailing Port: Anna Maria Island, FL
Crew: Charlene Green & Larry Green
About:
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. [...]
Extra:
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 [...]
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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