A family travels from Florida to New Zealand aboard their St Francis 50 catamaran

08 May 2013
06 September 2011 | Brisbane
04 September 2011 | 26 02S 155 59E
03 September 2011 | 24 35S 159 23E
02 September 2011 | 23 21S 162 56E
31 August 2011 | New Caledonia
30 August 2011 | 21 10S 168 312E
29 August 2011 | 21 25S 171 52E
28 August 2011 | 21 03S 175 17E
27 August 2011 | 20 17S 178 49E
26 August 2011 | 19 26S 177 46W
25 August 2011 | 18 48S 174 20W
23 August 2011 | Neiafu, Tonga
21 August 2011 | 19 00S 170 22W
18 August 2011 | 19 45S 168 16W
15 August 2011 | Beverage Reef
14 August 2011 | 19 39S 166 06W
12 August 2011 | 18 52S 160 14W
03 August 2011 | Aitutaki
01 August 2011 | 18 18S 157 49W

Enroute to Tonga

21 August 2011 | 19 00S 170 22W
I had a great swim with a whale yesterday at Niue. Click on the Videos link and then look for the video "Whales at Niue". We had rented a van to tour the island and on the second day, (yesterday) I had them drop me and Dean back at the boat thinking I might get a chance to swim with the whales. Sure enough about 4pm I sighed a whale about 200 meters off our stern and asked Dean to take me out in the dingy. Unfortunately he did not have any snorkel equipment having lent it to others earlier in the day but he did grab his video camera for some above water shots. We headed out to where I had sighted him and waited for about 15 minutes for him to surface again revealing his position. With the fresh bearing we adjusted course and several minutes later he surfaced less than 10 meters in front of the dingy. I got in the water, just a little spooky as even though we were not far from Ovive, the water was at least 300 meters deep and shortly afterwards spotted him about 15 to 20 meters down. As I free dived down closer to him with my underwater camera that is only designed to go to 3 meters the song was so loud I could feel the vibrations in my chest. I stayed with him until he surfaced about 15 minutes later. What started out as just me and Dean in one dingy turned into a total of 6 dingys and probably a few too many people but I must say most were hanging well back giving the whale plenty of space. This was good for videoing in some ways but if I had one swimmer in the picture it would have lent some size perspective. We spent two nights in the anchorage with numerous whales both nights but last night one surfaced less than 1 meter from our starboard stern. We left this morning at 6am along with a Outreamer 49 that I forgot to mention in the last post, we had beat in a race up from Beverage Reef. That being a lighter air sail and hard on the wind they were looking for a rematch today in strong winds from behind. We both dropped our mooring simultaneously but we took an early lead due to getting our main up faster. They soon passed us as they were flying their screecher while we were using working sails. We discussed raising the screecher but decided there was just too much wind and they would probably lower theirs soon and use their working jib due to the conditions. A quick radio call confirmed their intention to gain a slight lead and then lower the screecher as they were just at the limit of what the sail could take. Unfortunately the sail ripped before they had a chance to lower it and we are now slowly gaining on them. The results to be announced on the next blog post.
Vessel Name: O'Vive
Vessel Make/Model: St Francis 50' catamaran
Hailing Port: Tavernier, Florida USA
Crew: David, Alec, Emilie, Nathalie
About: Captain David, 1st mate, Nathalie and the crew Alec (12) and Emilie (15)


Who: David, Alec, Emilie, Nathalie
Port: Tavernier, Florida USA