HALEKAI Sailing Around the World

Nancy and Burger invite you to read about their adventures afloat and ashore.

06 April 2017 | St Lucie Inlet, Florida
02 April 2017 | Stocking Island, Exuma
01 April 2017 | George Town, Exumas
30 March 2017 | George Town, Bahamas
22 March 2017 | Elizabeth Island, Exumas
09 March 2017 | George Town, Exumas
04 March 2017 | Thompson's Bay, Long Island
03 March 2017 | Stella Maris, Long Island
02 March 2017 | Long Island
26 February 2017 | Crossing from Water Cay to Comer Channel, Jumentos
25 February 2017 | Double-Breasted Cay to Thompson's Bay, Long Island
23 February 2017 | Double-Breasted Cay, Jumentos
19 February 2017 | Hog Cay, Jumentos
16 February 2017 | Duncan Town, Ragged Island
15 February 2017
14 February 2017 | Hog Cay, Jumentos
10 February 2017 | Hog Cay, the Jumentos
06 February 2017 | Duncan Town, Ragged Island
05 February 2017 | Hog Cay, Ragged Islands
05 February 2017 | Duncan Town, Ragged Island

Crossing the Atlantic Despite Appendix

12 May 2013 | Annapolis, Maryland
Photo: Nancy's Edible Bouquet from Vivien for Mother's Day

After a quick visit with my brother's family in Kingston, NY, we returned to Annapolis where I (Nancy) unexpectedly had to have an appendectomy 10 days ago. Luckily it was done laparoscopically as outpatient, and recovery was quick. We had to postpone our return to the boat by two weeks.

Years ago (1975) when we were about to leave Germany aboard our first sailboat, Phantasus, a newspaper reporter in Cuxhaven interviewed us. One of her questions was, what if one of us had a medical emergency while sailing offshore? For instance, what if one of us had appendicitis or something? Well, life would be no fun if you didn't take a few chances, we replied. We had a good laugh when we read the headline next day, "Couple Plans to Cross Atlantic Despite Appendix." 

So now at least one of us won't have to worry about that anymore :).

Chili Bear on the Farm

15 April 2013 | Roosevelt, New Jersey
Spring had sprung by the time we drove the RV up to Annapolis early April, but luckily nothing was blooming yet that Burger is allergic to. Tux, our 19 year old cat (!), is doing amazingly well in the care of our friend Patrick.

The following week we drove the RV up to old friend Twink's horse farm in New Jersey, where Chili Bear will be staying for the next year. We are indebted to Twink for taking care of her for us! Chili Bear is in seventh heaven, romping all day with other doggies and dog-friendly folks. At seven months she's now 40 lbs and still growing, much too big and energetic to be confined on a boat in the heat of the coming summer. Here are some photos of her first day on the farm:


Following Spring Up the East Coast

31 March 2013 | Wimington NC
Photo: Owen's First Birthday Party

Once in Wilmington, we settled in at the dog- and child-friendly KOA Kampground, in walking distance to Melanie and Trey's house, how convenient is that? We arrived in time to attend Owen's first birthday party (check out his cake-eating photos!), entertain the boys at the KOA playground and the beach, celebrate my birthday and have an Easter egg hunt.

Click to see captioned photos: WILMINGTON

Crossing the Country Aboard Our RV

15 March 2013 | in transit from AZ to NC
Photo: That's sand, not snow! Our RV at White Sands National Park, on a very windy day.

Early March we set out across country along the southern route, passing through New Mexico (White Sands NP and Missile Range), Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to northern Florida, where we visited old friends Elli and Charley in St. Augustine, then Mary & Christian across the border in Georgia. With the help of our Ipad we found some really nice campgrounds, and went hiking and sightseeing along the way. Chili Bear proved a great traveller, sleeping on the rug under the dinette, next to or on the bed, or sitting on our laps (whoever wasn't driving, of course), watching the world whiz by. Then we continued north and completed our 3,000 mile trip in Wilmington, NC.

Here are some photos of Arizona and our cross country trip:
RV Trip

Keeping Warm in Southern Arizona

28 February 2013 | Tucson, AZ
Photo: Our RV kitchen. The black lump on the bed is Chili Bear!

Early February we took our little motorhome, a 23’ Phoenix Cruiser, out of storage in Los Alamos, moved aboard and headed south to sunny southern Arizona. Now nine years old and with 50,000 miles on the engine, our RV needed some refitting, and Phoenix was the perfect place for it. We had a new water heater installed, replaced the worn carpet with faux slate and had some minor fiberglass damage repaired. Not unlike fixing and refitting our boat!

Then we moved to an RV Resort in Tucson, one of several such mega-parks for snowbird retirees, mostly from the Midwest and Canada. We spent February swimming laps in the heated pool, working out in the fitness center, and training Chili Bear on the agility training equipment at the dog park. We went hiking in the nearby Sonora National Park and visited the Sonora-Arizona Desert Museum and Pima Air & Space Museum.

Here are some captioned photos of life aboard our RV:


A Week of Wintery Weather

31 January 2013 | Los Alamos, New Mexico
freezing cold and snow!
One of the perks of our vagabond lifestyle is that we usually manage to avoid cold weather, and we were successful for all but one week this winter. The frigid temps and snow were a shock to the system during our week-long stay in Los Alamos late January. But it was worth it to visit with Vivien and Nik and to see their new home.

Anya, 5, loved playing with Chili Bear but Maya at 2 1/2 was a bit young for such a rambunctious rascal, with her needle sharp baby teeth. We went hiking together on the trails in the canyon behind their home and shared yummy meals prepared by Tianmei, their nanny from China.


The Adventures of Chili Bear

23 January 2013 | Villarica, Chile
A highlight of our Chilean adventure was the discovery of Chili Bear, who at 10 weeks/5 lbs looked more like a little bear cub than a puppy. We found her abandoned at the side of the road on Day 3 and spent the rest of our visit delighting in her company. Gaby and Wolfgang were willing puppy-sitters whenever we took day trips, and Chili Bear struck up a special friendship with their German Shepherd, Pedro.

Unable to find a good home for her locally, we decided to take her back with us, not realizing how quickly she would grow! By the time we left Chile a month later, she had tripled her weight and was at the maximum size limit for in-cabin pets. I was a nervous wreck the day we flew back to the States, fearing she'd be rejected at the airport. Cargo pet travel was not an option due to high temps on the tarmac in Santiago. Thankfully there was no problem and the flight attendants all loved her. She curled up under our feet, lulled to sleep by the sound of the engines.

Click to see captioned photos of Chili Bear's adventures in Chile and in the air:


Wintering in Summery Chile

15 January 2013 | Villarica, Chile
Years ago when we used to host Trans-Ocean Club sailors at our dock in Annapolis, one of the visiting couples was Gaby & Wolfgang Kirsten of SV Wilde Mathilde. Since then they sold the boat and moved to Villarica, Chile, where they now raise alpacas and sheep on their 35 acre farm.

We had always wanted to visit them someday, and this year we finally made it happen. After the hectic pace in the Clinic it was wonderful to relax in their cozy guest cabin, built by Wolfgang, and enjoy the spectacular panoramic view, not just of green pastures with grazing sheep, blooming fruit trees, a lake and mountains in the distance, but also a snow-capped volcano that often spewed smoke!

Since the seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere, we arrived in time to celebrate the holidays with our hosts at the beginning of their summer. The only downside was Burger's allergy to the pollen of the birch trees on the property.

Wolfgang generously lent us one of his pickups so we could go shopping in town, hike in the three nearby National Parks, luxuriate in hot spring spas, and sightsee in Valdivia on the coast. We had originally planned to tour more of the country, but it was so beautiful where we were, that we slowed our pace and didn't regret it.

Another world cruising couple, Regina and Michael of SV Anico, parked their boat in Valdivia and spent a week on the farm with us, which added to the fun. We celebrated New Year's together with a barbecue and bonfire. At midnight we drank champagne watching fireworks over Lake Villarica. It doesn't get much better than that!

Click here for our captioned photos: CHILE

Family Reunion in DisneyWorld

15 October 2012 | Orlando, Florida
Photo: from left, Vivien with Maya, Melanie with Owen, and Anya and Ivey, standing.

We flew in from Italy, Los Alamos NM and Wilmington NC for a family reunion in Orlando, coinciding with Vivien's physics conference there. It was great fun introducing our four little grandkiddies to DisneyWorld! We spent a day each at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center, and relaxing at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, together with old friends Elli & Charley who drove over from St. Augustine to see us. From Orlando we had a quick visit in Annapolis and Wilmington before leaving for Ecuador in November.

See how cute our grandkiddies are!

Where in the World Are the Zapf's?

30 December 2011 | Annapolis, MD
Nancy and Burger Zapf
By the time we were ready to leave Marmaris late July, it was very hot. We flew home to more hot weather during our month stateside, but it didn't keep us from getting around! A week in Annapolis visiting our kitty (18 years old and still doing fine!); a week in Wilmington with Melanie and family; a week with Vivien and family in Los Alamos; then a week RVing and hiking in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. It was great seeing our three wee grandkiddies!




Then it was off to Ecuador for Burger's tenth stint at the Mission Clinic in Guadalupe. (Our 2011 Guadalupe photo report is on the Logs and Links list on the right side of this web page.) Burger especially loves doing ear surgery and cleft palate cases. How awesome to see a severely disfigured child transformed to normal! I helped out with patient data entry and even some assisting in the OR. Weekends we went hiking in the Andes Mountains, staying at our favorite Copalinga Ecolodge.

I'm now on the board of the U.S. Foundation that supports the Clinic with tax-deductible donations. While Burger solicits for medical supplies, I help fundraise and search for volunteers for our team, all online from wherever we are. We now have a FaceBook page for the Clinic (you don't have to be a FaceBooker to view it):


We arrived back in Annapolis just in time to attend the last day of the Annapolis Boat Show, and see a bunch of friends there. Late October we got together with family and relatives for a big Family Reunion upstate New York, and celebrated Burger's birthday. All the little cousins had a blast at the apple picking farm!


On our way home from Kingston we stopped to visit my old college "roomie" Twink at her horse farm.


November was a nice quiet break from all our traveling. Friends Denis and Laure Seynhaeve, sv Escapade, kindly lent us their zippy little BMW when they left for the Caribbean, saving us the cost of renting a car. Vivien and Nik and the girls came for a short visit early December.


After Christmas in Wilmington with Melanie, Trey and 3 year old Ivey (photo), we returned to the boat in Marmaris, just in time to ring in the New Year together with friends old and new.

Family Photos

08 December 2010 | Wilmington NC
Just added an album of family reunion photos to our Gallery.

Look How We've Multiplied!

05 December 2010 | Wilmington, NC
2010 Thanksgiving Reunion in Wilmington NC
Back row from left: Burger, Nancy Nik, 3 year old Anya, Vivien, 5 month old Maya
In front: Melanie, 2 1/2 year old Ivey, Trey

Hiking in Los Alamos

22 October 2010 | Bandelier National Monument
Vivien and Nik live just a few miles from Bandelier National Monument, where we took our RV for a hiking outing on a gorgeous fall day. The whole area where they live has spectacular scenery. We love walking from their house to the White Rock Outlook to see the grand expanse of the Rio Grande river valley.

Family Get-together

20 October 2010 | Los Alamos NM
Here we are in Los Alamos with Vivien, NIk and our two grandkiddies Anya (2 1/2) and Maya (3 mos.).

Back in the USA

16 October 2010 | Los Alamos, NM
Whew, it was a long journey from Langkawi via Kuala Lumpur and Taipei to Los Angeles, but all flights on time and luggage arrived in tact, even the fragile pirate ship kites from Bali. We recuperated overnight at the LAX Raddison for just $65/night, thanks to a priceline.com bid.

Onwards next day to Albuquerque, its high altitude dry desert sunshine a welcome change from the heat and humidity of Malaysia. We rented a car and drove to Santa Fe, and spent a night at the lovely Hotel Santa Fe, with its tasteful Southwestern decor and great restaurant. Next morning we walked to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum that we'd never managed to go to during previous visits, but were quite disappointed, as her best works are all elsewhere.

We then met Nik and Anya for lunch. Precocious little Anya has lost her shyness and told me proudly, "I am 2 1/2 years old, almost 3, and my birthday is November 9th." Her first words to Burger were, "Will you fix my bicycle for me?" (Jack-of-all-trades Burger gets "Papa do" lists whenever we visit Vivien and Melanie.)

We then got our Trader Joe's fix to stock the RV fridge, and drove up the hill to White Rock to retrieve the RV from storage. Parked outside Vivien's house for a week, it serves us well as a guest room. Now we're dealing with 9 hours' time difference, huge jetlag which keeps us awake at night and napping by day. So good to be with Vivien and her family here in Los Alamos for a week, and finally meeting adorable 3-month old Maya.

Photo: Departure from the ferry dock at Rebak Marina, Langkawi

Shoreside Update

01 June 2010 | Bundaberg, AU
G'day, Mates,

It's been awhile since we've updated our Sailblog, but that's because we haven't been sailing. Here's a little synopsis of where we've been in the interim.

After parking Halekai on the hard in Bundaberg last September, we first spent a month in a rented campervan, exploring the Queensland Outback. Then we returned to the States to visit friends and relatives, and Burger did his annual volunteer work in Ecuador in November.

We celebrated our 40th anniversary in December with a romantic weekend at a fancy hotel in St. Michael's, Maryland, the day before a huge blizzard hit. Janet Baker spent Christmas Eve with us, and Marianne Klatt came for our traditional Christmas Day goose dinner. For New Year's we flew in Vivien and Melanie, their hubbies and our grandbabies for a several day visit. Our friend Bev Heater saved the day by lending us a bunch of Fischer Price toys saved from her grandchildren, to keep litltle Anya and Ivey busy.

Sadly my brother died in January after a long illness, and we traveled to the memorial service in Olivebridge, NY. We then drove our RV south for two months in lovely San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, learning Spanish while escaping the cold of winter. A bunch of mostly American RV'ers wintered in a small RV park right in town, so we didn't want for social life. We even met a cruising couple from Los Alamos, NM there!

Early March we drove the RV north via Texas, where we had a reunion with an old friend from our Berlin days in the early seventies, now an anesthesiologist in Dallas. With his help we recruited a young colleague of his for the next volunteer stint in Guadalupe in October. I'm going to go with Burger for the first time. He wants me to assist him in the OR, which should be interesting! I've booked our tickets already and am looking forward to it!

We then drove on to Los Alamos to see Vivien, Nik and precocious little Anya, who greeted us with, "Hi Opa, can you fix my bicycle? and "Hi Nana, my birthday is November 9th." We then put the RV in storage in Los Alamos and flew to Annapolis, where we celebrated my birthday with a party of some local friends, all connected with sailing in one way or another.

My niece Beth, hubby Matt and son Emmett drove down from Kingston NY and spent Easter weekend with us. Together we drove into Washington DC to see the cherry blossoms, and took a boat tour of Annapolis harbor. Emmett loved our Easter egg hunt. Burger gave him stiff competition, especially for his favorite chocolate marzipan eggs!

After an early May visit with Melanie, Trey and almost-two year old adorable Ivey in Wilmington, NC, we flew to Germany for a 3-week whirlwind tour to visit friends and relatives who we hadn't seen in years. It was a trip down memory lane for both of us: Burger went to his 45th class reunion in Hannover where we visited his brothers, and we looked up an old colleague of his in Hildesheim; we climbed the Pfaender in Bregenz, Austria where I was a college student; we visited Lenggries, the little Bavarian ski town where we first met (December 1968!), and the places where we later lived in Berlin and Koenigstein am Taunus. (Photos on FaceBook.) The only downside was that it was the coldest, wettest May in years, and we hadn't brought clothing warm enough for it.

From Frankfurt we continued our flight around the world back to Bundaberg, via a short stopover in Singapore to soak up some tropical heat after chilly Germany. "Singapore is fine city," our taxi driver joked. "Pay fine for this, fine for that." For instance, for littering or chewing gum. The sidewalks were so nice and clean! We stayed in a fancy hotel with view of the harbor and toured the sights of the city.

The next leg of our journey will take us up and around the east coast to the top of Australia, across Indonesia to Bali, Borneo and Singapore, then up the Malacca Strait to Malaysia, where we'll store Halekai next. Then we'll return to the States again to see the kids/grandkids and for our volunteer month at the mission clinic in Guadalupe, Ecuador. We'll be anxious to meet our third grandbaby, due next month in Los Alamos, NM. Grand-toddler Anya is now a precocious 2 1/2. It's so hard to be away for so much of their cutest years!
Vessel Name: Halekai
Vessel Make/Model: Alden 50 Center Cockpit
Hailing Port: Berlin
Crew: Nancy and Burger Zapf
We sailed around the world in stages aboard Halekai, leaving Annapolis, Maryland in 2004. After several seasons in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, Halekai was shipped from Thailand to Turkey to avoid the pirates in June 2011. [...]
We left Germany aboard our first boat, Phantasus, a LeComte NorthEast 38, and crossed the Atlantic in 1975. Six years later we spent a year sailing her from the US East Coast to the South Pacific. After acquiring Halekai, our Alden 50, in 1993, we cruised extensiviely up and down the US East [...]
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/halekai
Halekai's Photos - Main
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Created 9 September 2012
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After visiting the famous pilgramage for sailors, the Monastery of the Archangel Michael in Panormitis, we sailed around to the main town of Symi.
18 Photos
Created 6 June 2012
1 Photo | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 23 March 2011
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 20 March 2011
from Kupang to Komodo, Bali to Borneo
1 Photo | 10 Sub-Albums
Created 20 March 2011
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Created 20 March 2011
Our three-day stopover in Hong Kong to celebrate our 41st anniversary
67 Photos
Created 25 December 2010
Thanksgiving in Wilmington, NC with our daughters and their families
33 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 7 December 2010
10 Photos
Created 14 August 2010
We left Bundaberg late June and sailed up the coast of Queensland, inside the Great Barrier Reef.
10 Photos | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 13 August 2010
Halekai in Fiji
31 Photos
Created 9 July 2009