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.

27 August 2019 | 18 43.812'S:147 45.117'E, Upstart Bay, Coral Sea Australian Coast
17 August 2019 | 20 40.899'S:149 08.512'E, Goldsmith Island, Great Barrier Reef
13 August 2019 | Port Mackay Marina, Great Barrier Reef
23 July 2019 | 21 08.722'S:149 13.575'E, Port Mackay, Great Barrier Reef
22 July 2019 | Port Mackay, Great Barrier Reef
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

Northbound Australian Coast

27 August 2019 | 18 43.812'S:147 45.117'E, Upstart Bay, Coral Sea Australian Coast
Larry Green
Last weekend we were participating in a rendezvous. It is an annual event sponsored by the Shag Islet Yacht Club, which for $65 Australian one can become a life member, be designated a Vice Commodore, get a free shirt and burgee for your boat. It is predominately a party, with all the proceeds going to Prostate Cancer. It comes complete with auctions, sales of souvenirs, especially pirate paraphernalia as one of the events awards prizes for the most authentic looking pirate (no, I did not win). One evening the dinner theme was more like a costume ball, complete with masks and outrageous outfits. Most were reasonably tasteful under the circumstances; there were a few who thought briefs (yes, underwear to us) would look really cool especially with hairy oversize bellies cascading over the top. On both evenings I was reminded that Australians, are for the most part, direct and uninhibited. We had the good fortune of spending most of our time with some really great people we met when we were in Bundaberg and have since become friends. Russ and Alex are Australian sailors, he is a retired engineer and she works like a school counselor helping troubled kids and their families. They neither behave nor dress in an outrageous fashion so it was quite nice to share comments about our fellow partygoers with like minded souls.

These events took place just north of Airlie beach at a place identified on the chart as Gloucester Passage, which is a narrow passage between Gloucester Island and Gloucester Point. There is a tiny bit of rock and sand known on the chart as Passage Island, but locally known as Shaggers Islet. This club has been holding their rendezvous there since their inception a number of years ago. There are several thousand members worldwide, but only a couple of hundred attend any particular rendezvous. Please do not Google �"what does shag mean in Australia�" I understand it has some local meaning which could be unsuitable for certain people. However, everything about the �"shaggers�" is all in good fun and for a great cause. We left yesterday morning, heading a bit further north and are anchored in Upstart Bay. Today we will sail another 35 or so miles to Magnetic Island, which is just offshore of Townsville and most likely about as far north as we will go. In our northbound trek from Bundaberg we have sailed nearly 1000 NM. In late September we have to reverse that route, plus a few hundred miles in order to be below 25 degrees South latitude by mid-November, the start of the cyclone season.

Magnetic Island is one of those places where we can arrange dive trips, hiking expeditions and pretty much anything to do with experiencing the Australian tropical coast. We see whales frolicking every day, sometimes close enough to get a real good look at these beautiful creatures. I may have mentioned previously that there are more critters that view humans and cats (our crew) as a tasty snack or even a decent meal. WE are in that part of Australia where many of the beaches have shark nets and box jellyfish nets to protect swimmers. Though I have yet to see one, there was a report last weekend of a couple of salt water crocodiles checking out the menu near where we were anchored.

From the time we arrived in Australia I started noticing that most boats did not have inflatable or even rigid hull inflatable tenders; most have hard fiberglass or aluminum tenders with fairly high freeboard. We have an aluminum bottom on our rigid inflatable tender which we have been told are referred to by the locals as teething rings for the crocs. More later.

On the Move........

17 August 2019 | 20 40.899'S:149 08.512'E, Goldsmith Island, Great Barrier Reef
Larry Green
As mentioned a couple of days ago, we hoped to get away today and did. We are currently anchored at Goldsmith Island. Other islands in this group include Ingot, Tinsmith and Blacksmith. I beleive I made a snide comment about the early explorers not being very original when they named these islands. I should take back the comment since no one coud come up with original names for this number of islands. Apologies to Captain Cook and all the others. Goldsmith is part of the 100 Magic Miles, we have about 70 ahead of us to complete this part of our adventure. Weather looks lovely tomorrow, so we will head for an anchorage off Airlie Beach. One of the most spectacular sights we saw today were several whales. There was a mom and 5000 pound baby playing a few hundred yards in front as we were sailing, then there was an adult showing off on the port side by breaching within maybe 300 yards. Turning to look behind us there was another mother whale teaching her baby to slap the water with her tail. I decided the only possible way I could be ready for potentially awesome photos was to video the whales, which I did. I have about 25 minutes of video, of which perhaps 2 or 3 minuites are whales. Once I figure out how to either shorten it all down to a 2-3 minuite whale video or turn the better frames into still photos they will be shared. Other than that, this short passage was unexciting; the most difficult thing I had to do was decide whether to put up another sunset photo or the island we are anchored off. More later..............

100 Magic Miles

13 August 2019 | Port Mackay Marina, Great Barrier Reef
Larry Green
100 Magic Miles is the title of the cruising guide that covers the Whitsunday island Group. We have been at the southern end of this island group for about three weeks in the port of Mackay. Why we have been here for three weeks is a story unto itself, before telling that tale, a bit more about where we are.

This group of islands is in one of the narrowest parts of Australia’s continental shelf, which I understand ranges from about 50 miles to over 200 miles from the continental coast.

The Melanesian and Polynesian people had sailed here and populated this part of the world for some 4500 years before the first European explorers "discovered” it. It is said they sailed here before most European sailors and explorers would venture out of sight of land. The Aboriginal people had been here about 40,000 years before Captain James Cook sailed here aboard HMS Endeavour in 1770, about 5 years before us Bostonians dumped a bunch of British tea into Boston Harbor. (That tea party took place just off the old Charlestown Navy Yard, now home to the USS Constitution and just across the harbor from the North End of Boston, which was, when I was growing up the Italian section of Boston and is now the highly gentrified Boston waterfront)

In part, based on the unrest in the “colonies” Cooks voyage was closely related to the beginning of the breaking up of Great Britain’s North American colonies and the economic imperialism which saw the Spanish, French, Dutch and British successively discover and rediscover many of the Pacific Islands. In our travels throughout the Pacific and before in the Caribbean we would often see evidence of that imperialism as many island nations had passed through many, if not all, the aforementioned countries hands.
Cook was instructed to sail to 40° south latitude and try to find the great
southern continent. He departed Plymouth England in August 1768. According to the cruising guide, on Whit Sunday, June 5 (Whit Sunday is the 5th Sunday after Easter) he was sailing up the Queensland Coast (unnamed at the time) and entered a passage between the mainland and a group of lofty islands to the east, with “everywhere good anchorages”. He named the passage Whitsunday Passage and the islands became known as the Whitsunday Island group. Not a very imaginative name, but it stuck.

By this point most readers are likely questioning the history/geography lesson. Well, to a certain extent that has to do with why we are still here. Many may recall in a previous post a discussion of gremlins and how they infected the radar cable. So, while awaiting the new cable and
being a wee bit impatient I decided to have another look at the cable and what would be involved in replacing it. The radar is mounted on a 15 foot pole at the stern of the boat. To get to the radar unit involves facing aft, climbing up and over the sternrail, onto the dingy davits, turning to face forward and climbing one more level onto a crosspiece which connects the two stern mounted antenna poles together to form a rigid framework. I succeeded in doing all this gymnastic stuff and got to look carefully what was involved in pulling a new cable. Having satisfied my impatience, I reversed the process and climbed down. A bit later my left knee started giving me some pain and was beginning to swell a bit. By that evening my left knee was twice its normal size and hurt like hell. It appears I twisted my knee while keeping my foot steady which is apparently not a good thing.

The next day I learned how medical treatment works here. It is a government run and controlled system and except in rare cases you must start with a GP. She listened to my story, made an unintelligible comment about men my age climbing around sailboats, prescribed Tramadol and rest, ice, elevation etc. Then she said if it was not better in three weeks to come back and she could send me for an x-ray. Back to the boat, feet up, bag of frozen peas on my knee and a lot of time on my hands. Nothing changed over several days so in talking with a pharmacist (Chemist here) she said go straight back to the doctor and directly tell her you want an MRI of your knee. So, I did and got the MRI the next day and the following day went back to the doctor who said “because of your age you will need a total knee replacement” which was of course nonsense. She referred me to an Orthopedic Surgeon, who I called as soon as I got back to the boat. I have no medical training and actually very little experience with serious injury, but in reading the MRI report which referred to “tiny” tears in the meniscus, some minor damage to the ligaments and a lot of swelling it seemed an Orthopedic Surgeon could be a bit of overkill.

When I called the surgeons office for an appointment, I asked the person I spoke with if she would first show the MRI results to the surgeon and ask if perhaps a bit of physical therapy (Physio here) might be a better use of everyone’s time. Within a couple of hours, I received a call back and the surgeon said he really did not understand why I was referred to him and I should go for Physio ASAP.

All is well that ends well, and the first appointment confirmed I had done some damage, but nothing that a few exercises, more bags of frozen peas, some rest and some walking would not cure. He gave me a soft brace with steel sides to wear the first few times I am sailing and anytime I decide to climb the stern of the boat. Went yesterday for my second and final visit to the Physio, who pronounced that I was healing faster than he originally thought, added a few more exercises and sent me on my way.
By Saturday we shall start out to see the other 99 magic miles……More later

The photo is the moon about 8 days 11 hours old in it’s first Quarter or about 64% lit.

Gremlins and other similar critters

23 July 2019 | 21 08.722'S:149 13.575'E, Port Mackay, Great Barrier Reef
Larry Green
Gremlins are frequent visitors aboard sailing boats. Some would speculate that the more complex the boat, the greater the prevalence of gremlins. Further, more would speculate that the greater number of electronic devices one has aboard, the greater the potential population of gremlins. My personal view is that gremlins are very much like cockroaches. Why, you may ask. For one thing both have inhabited the planet since the beginning of time; they will continue to inhabit the planet long after we are gone. It is impossible to kill all of them, though it is a common occurrence to believe you have wiped them out. And for a time that appears to be true. Nonetheless, one day, seemingly out of nowhere one will show up. Most assuredly at an inopportune time. We engage in a pretty relentless program of bug eradication, which consists of regular use of all sorts of deadly chemicals aimed at anything smaller than a cat that moves. Whenever the boat is out of the water, we have it professionally fumigated; so except for the occasional tiny critter that can be wiped out with chemical spray we don't (yet) have any cockroaches or similar living pasts. Gremlins are another matter. They are similar in many ways to shape shifters as they can assume any form. Sometimes they are mechanical, sometimes sailing hardware and sometimes electronic. The most recent Gremlin is an electronic one. Regular readers may recall that on our passage from Fiji to New Zealand last November we had an issue with our radar. Our intrepid crew, Anna and John climbed the radar pole, unplugged the cable, cleaned the connector, put it all back together and presto, the radar worked. It continued to work faithfully until a couple of days ago, when it developed the identical symptoms Anna and John had corrected. Consider we (I) thought we had squashed the Gremlin with little fuss and fanfare. Not so. Weakened it perhaps, slowed its progress some, but all the chemical sprays (in this case electronic contact cleaner) did not get rid of it. Over the months since the passage from Fiji it kept doing its thing. After we arrived here, we arranged for a radar technician to take a look, which he did this morning. After describing the previous heroic work on the part of our shipmates, and my recent efforts at doing the same thing to no avail, we fired up the radar and as is usual in the case of gremlins, it worked. The technician went through a few tests and checks and suggested it may still be the connection between the radar and cable as the display was not as crisp as he would like to see. After turning all the power off he went unplugged the cable and we believe he found the surviving gremlin. The two connectors were perfectly clean and free of corrosion. However, when he removed all the tape covering the wire where it joins the plug, he found the kinda furry looking green stuff we sometimes call corrosion. It is what happens when salt air and water mix with copper wire and causes the wire to lose its ability to conduct electrical signals and power. What he was seeing on the radar screen was a diminished signal due to power loss; not enough power loss to cause the system not to work all the time, but enough to degrade the system so it only partially worked some of the time. What, you may now be asking, is the moral of this story; it is simple, if you can wiggle the wire to make an electronic device work you have not killed the gremlins. A similar analogy could apply to cockroaches; if you can still hear them scratching at night, they won. The photo at the top of this post is one of many hundreds of uninhabited islands we have sailed past the last few days................More later

Where to start.............

22 July 2019 | Port Mackay, Great Barrier Reef
Larry Green | warmer
This was written 3 days ago, technical difficulties prevented me from posting it. Near as I could tell our "tracker"on Predictwind was working pretty well so there was little concern that a few days without a blog post would be an issue.

Today was another day moving the boat northward towards the Whitsunday Islands, apparently the holy grail we are seeking. The Great Barrier Reef is some 1200 miles long, the Whitsunday Islands are but one small group about 400 miles north of Bundaberg, and they stretch close to 100 miles further north. Their allure is the crystal clear water, warm temperatures, beautiful scenery extraordinary diving and snorkeling. As a tourist destination they also have a fair share of decent dining establishments.
In our quest to get there we have sailed about 275 miles in a week, the relatively short distance is due to the need to be anchored before sunset. We have 100 or so miles to go before we arrive in Mckay, the southern part of the Whitsunday group. I expect we will be there Monday (Sunday to those living in the other half of the world) Somehow, perhaps by magic, we expect it will be much warmer. An example will illustrate my point. At night where we are it gets into the high 50s or low 60s. During the day it is perhaps 10 degrees warmer. Don't get me wrong, the sun is very hot, but the air is very cool as is the water. Thus, it feels chilly virtually all the time except when sitting still in the sunlight. A sweater and jeans is routine daytime dress.
Personally, I doubt it will be much warmer when we get to the promised land. We are currently at 22 degrees South Latitude, Hamilton Island, the "center" of the Whitsundays is a bit north of 20 degrees south or 120 miles closer to the warm weather. We shall see how warm it gets.
We were going downwind most of the day so had a chance to use the spinnaker. The blog has a picture of the boat sailing with the spinnaker, however I thought it might be of interest to some to see the view from the helm of the spinnaker. Thus, the picture at the top of this post.
Today we also passed through an area that was originally closed to all civilian craft due to joint military exercises with the Australian, New Zealand, American and Japanese Navy and Marines (or their equivalent) Apparently the lengthy detour around this area received enough political attention to allow the authorities to open the area for most days this month except the specific days where live fire exercises would take place. So, throughout the day our VHF radio would broadcast items like "this is Australian Warship #1234 to the fishing vessel on my port bow, please be advised you are hampering our maneuvers and are required to maintain a 2 mile separation at all times". The poor bloke on the fishing vessel would usually ask something like "tell me your course and speed" and I will keep out of your way. For the most part the response was polite but uninformative.
We encountered two US Warships. The first we had a direct radio communication with. On our third attempt to call them to ask their intentions, course and speed they finally answered. Very politely they provided their course and speed, but not their intentions. Previously, they had changed course a couple of times and were heading directly in our path, which is why I wanted to know their intention. Ultimately, I advised them that my intention was to alter course to Port, pass a safe distance then resume my course by passing astern of them. They seemed to agree, so that is what we did. The next encounter was pretty funny. A different US Warship was steaming about 2.5 miles away on a reciprocal course when they announced "Securitie, Securitie, Securitie, all ships be aware that US Warship #3456 is commencing continuous turns to port and all ships stay clear. We were the only other vessel in visual range; the Warship continued steaming straight and true until out of sight. We also heard a Japanese Warship on the radio, but had a hard time understanding and they were too far away to be of any concern to us.
Now that I have griped about the weather, and the Warships of several nations I should let you in on something special. There are many Australian sights and sounds that are unique. Some of the animals here live no where else on earth, the country is geographically as large as the US, yet has a population of only 27 million, 90% of whom live on a narrow band of land on the south east coast. Much of the interior land is desert. I often thought of Australia as it was originally, a British prison colony, yet it has a rich heritage from trading with other nations in this area from well before the British sent their first boatload of convicts. The special something has to do with the stark beauty of this country. As noted, we have sailed about 275 miles in the Great Barrier Reef, and I have seen more raw, natural beauty here than any place I have been. Maybe it will turn ugly, but I doubt it.
The Great Barrier Reef is actually a series of reefs strung along the continental shelf of eastern Australia. When I think about sailing in a reef, I think shallow water, lots of coral heads ready to catch your keel and the occasional island. Not so here. It is generally fairly deep, up to about 200 feet from what I have seen so far. Yes, as you approach an island or atoll you must be vigilant for those coral heads or "Boomies" as they are referred to locally. However, for the most part you are sailing in fairly open water with magnificent islands or just huge rocks sticking up out of the sea. For example, tonight we are anchored at Hexam Island, which is really a large rock with a beach on one side and some stone outcrops that look a bit like Lions guarding a sacred place in a different part of the world. There are two other sailboats here, and nothing else.
The moon is full and bright, the sea is calm, the surroundings are better than any More later

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
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