Adventure Before Dementia

After 6 years of procrastination, we are finally following our dream to sail from New Zealand to the Pacific Islands for 6 months.

08 November 2015 | At home in Nelson
05 November 2015
05 November 2015
27 October 2015
26 October 2015
26 October 2015
23 October 2015
23 October 2015
21 October 2015
19 October 2015 | Noumea
13 October 2015 | Baie de Gadji, Isle of Pines
10 October 2015 | Baie de Kuendu Anse, New Caledonia
01 October 2015 | Noumea
24 September 2015 | Baie D'Oro
17 September 2015 | Lekiny Bay, Ouvéa
11 September 2015 | Lifou Island New Caledonia

Safe arrival of the salty seadogs!

08 November 2015 | At home in Nelson
Heather/warm and sunny
On Saturday morning the 7th of November at 7.30am, Calypso and her crew arrived safely back into Nelson Marina, tired but very happy to be back on dry land again! Unfortunately the sun was not shining as was forecast but nothing could dampen their spirits. Heather was on the pontoon to meet them and help with the ropes and Mike backed Calypso perfectly into her old berth, relieved he hadn't lost his touch! We all sat down to a breakfast of croissants and pink bubbles to celebrate their safe arrival home and were visited by friends, Barbara & Simon, Rob and Marilyn & Pat.
A huge thank you to Simon, Raewyn and Rod for being such fantastic crew and a special thank you to Raewyn, the Galley Queen!
As everything on the boat had become a bit damp and salty, we took everything off the boat and have so far done 11 loads of washing! Just as well the weather has been good since their return.
You will be glad to know that Mike has now shaved off his scruffy beard as he was looking a little too like the actor, Donald Sutherland, for my liking!
Thinking back to being in Opua before we set off, neither of us can really believe we have been away for nearly 6 months. The time seems to have gone so fast but what a great adventure it was. Our house seems so huge compared to living on Calypso, so we are very happy that Rebecca and Hannah are coming home today from Wellington for the holidays to fill up the house again!
Thanks to everyone who has followed our blog and for all the wonderful comments! It is a great record of our trip and so much more fun than writing a diary. So goodbye for now, until our next adventure....

Less than 24 hours to go!

05 November 2015

Position as at 1200 6/5/15 - 39 19S. 173 40E
Speed 5.8 Knts
COG 208 T
Wind 10 Knts SSE
New Plymouth made amends for its poor (weather) reception by putting on a wonderful North Island farewell - calm blue seas, green pastures and a snow capped Mt Taranaki splendid against the clear blue sky. Our blissfully calm start was short lived however. As we rounded Cape Egmont the wind blew up from the South 20-25 Knts (forecast SE15), as the wind gods had a final laugh at our expense. Still, no turning back now and we are motor sailing the best course we can (towards Cape Farewell!). The wind is getting lighter now and will hopefully change direction a bit later to assist our final leg back to Nelson (we are ever hopefull). Still we can't complain too much as it's a wonderfully sunny clear day - we can even see the snowy peaks of Mt Ruapehu nearly 100 miles away! Been trying our luck with fishing today and have had some action from 'pest fish' but got excited when we pulled a Kingfish in, only to find that it was undersized - but we'll keep trying..... Should be in Nelson sometime Saturday morning, with or without fish.

Nearly home!

05 November 2015
Thursday 5th November
Still sheltering in Port Taranaki from the cold and gusty SE winds. The 40knts of yesterday have at least moderated to 25-30knts and the sun is out - but it's freezing! Mount Taranaki is looking splendid in a fresh coating of snow!!
Port Taranaki isn't exactly small yacht friendly. When we entered on Wed eve, in driving rain, we were directed to the anchorage area, with the promise of good holding in mud. The anchorage was actually fully exposed to the NE swell and after 4 failed attempted at setting the anchor we gave up and grabbed the nearest vacant mooring buoy (the first time ever we have failed to set our anchor, the bottom felt like solid rock). As all the moorings are private we called the Harbour Master for advice and he offered us the use of one of three spare Pilot Boat moorings - but after driving around for half an hour (still raining) we couldn't find any of the supposed numbered buoys so, cold and wet we finally grabbed the biggest/most sheltered mooring we could find and hoped it was attached to more than just a house brick. Nobody appears to have up to date records of who owns the moorings (or what size they are built to hold), so we all look out the window nervously during the big gusts to make sure we're not moving! Fortunately no big fishing boat has returned to tell us to clear off, and hopefully we can stay put until morning. Looks like lighter winds for tomorrow so hope to finally head for home in the morning. Should take us 24-26 hours depending on wind strength :)

Arrival in New Plymouth (Port Taranaki)

02 November 2015
Position at 1200 on Tuesday 3rd November -
38 24s. 173 53e
Speed 8 Knts
COG 168T
Wind NW15
In sight of land and should be tucked up in Port Taranaki well before dark.
Certainly know we're out of the tropics - thermals and duvets have been broken out.
Since Heather left us in Noumea the journey has turned from adventure to more of a delivery trip and our focus it to get back to Nelson as quickly (but safely) as possible. But this has required a lot of motor sailing to make the tight weather windows, and we are now all a bit bored having the motors on most of the time and we're looking forward to home. I've been very lucky to have Simon, Raewyn and Rod on board who are not only great crew but good company on this less exciting part of the journey. Raewyn also helps keep our spirits up with plenty of good food!
We have at least had he pleasant distraction of seeing lots of Dolphins coming down the West Coast - in fact more than we've seen in the past 5 months combined! At one point we had around 100 around the boat (unfortunately I was off watch asleep)!
Looks like we may have to shelter in Port Taranaki until Thursday evening or Friday morning but will keep you posted! Port Taranaki is only 24 hours sailing time away from Nelson.

On way to Nelson, passage day 2

01 November 2015
Monday 2nd November - Had a good evening/night as a light wind and fair tides helped to whoosh us around the top of the North Island. Things are a bit slower this morning as we motor into a light breeze and a 1m swell. NW breeze due to pick up by this evening and we should make Port Taranaki tomorrow evening, hopefully before dark.
Our position as at 1200
35 44 S. 172 55E
Speed 7knts
COG 164T
Wind SW10
206 miles to go to New Plymouth where we plan to stop and grab a mooring until the nasty southerly blows through.

Heading for Nelson, Passage Day 1!

31 October 2015
After watching the ALl Blacks win the rugby World Cup at the Opua Yacht Club at 5am this morning we made a hasty exit from the marina and headed north (we have to round North Cape and Cape Reinga before heading back south along the West Coast of the North Island). Our plan is to get to Port Taranaki by late Tues/early Wed and stop there to wait out the expected strong Southerlies. Port Taranaki is only approx 24 hrs sailing to Nelson, so hopefully we'll get a good weather window to complete our journey back to Nelson in the near future!
Current position 34 41S. 173 28E
Speed 7 Knts
COG 309T
Wind W12 Knts
Approx 26 miles to North Cape
Vessel Name: Calypso
Vessel Make/Model: Fontaine Pajot Belize 43
Hailing Port: Nelson
Crew: Mike & Heather Colling
Calypso's Photos - Main
10 Photos
Created 10 October 2015
15 Photos
Created 2 October 2015
12 Photos
Created 24 September 2015
13 Photos
Created 17 September 2015
20 Photos
Created 17 September 2015
17 Photos
Created 1 September 2015
17 Photos
Created 18 August 2015
27 Photos
Created 18 August 2015
12 Photos
Created 1 August 2015
17 Photos
Created 22 July 2015
29 Photos
Created 8 July 2015
27 Photos
Created 27 June 2015
9 Photos
Created 27 June 2015
Getting ready to set sail on our Adventure before Dementia. Provisioning and sailing up to Opua and the Bay of Islands
10 Photos
Created 21 May 2015