Little Green Boat

Spruce circled the Pacific between 2013-2019: South Pacific Islands, NZ, Australia, Asia, Japan, Alaska , Canada, USA, Mexico then back to French Polynesia in 2020. The plan is to go on to the Indian Ocean in 2021.

04 July 2021 | Tahuata & Hiva Oa - Marquises - French Polynesia
04 July 2021
04 July 2021
04 July 2021
04 July 2021
18 May 2021 | Hiva Oa - Marquises - French Polynesia
18 May 2021
18 May 2021
18 May 2021
18 May 2021
18 May 2021
18 March 2021 | Ua Pou - Marquises - French Polynesia
18 March 2021 | Ua Pou - Marquises - French Polynesia
18 March 2021 | Ua Pou - Marquises - French Polynesia
18 March 2021 | Ua Pou - Marquises - French Polynesia
10 February 2021 | Nuku Hiva - Marquises
10 February 2021
10 February 2021
10 February 2021
10 February 2021

Hauled Out - Preparing to Sail

04 July 2021 | Tahuata & Hiva Oa - Marquises - French Polynesia
Sue & Andy Warman
French Polynesia has treated us very well. While we await delivery of parts needed to continue our maintenance work we have enjoyed ourselves in mainly the Marquisian islands of Ua Pou and Nuku Hiva. We decided to remain in this archipelago, rather than to head for the Tuamotus again. Our haul out was scheduled at Hiva Oa and a germ of an idea was forming: to sail to Panama and the Canal. Back to the Atlantic, instead of hanging about for what increasingly looks like another year awaiting more countries to the west or in South America to re-open...but more of that later.
The photo shows (LtoR) Sue, Ada and John (s/y Rhapsody) having a post second Covid vaccination cup of tea. Then we sailed back to Nuku Hiva to pick up our 5-year Carte-de-Sejours. Yes, officially we can stay in French Polynesia another four-and-half years if we so choose.

04 July 2021
Sue & Andy Warman
Onwards to Tahuata and Hiva Oa, more beautiful volcanic Marquisian Islands, to await our haul-out date. Meanwhile a number of maintenance tasks were achieved while still afloat. The major jobs on the task list while ashore are: patching copper-coat antifouling; strip down folding propeller (more easily done ashore); check through hull fittings; re-pack the rudder shaft packing gland and check rudder bearings. The biggest job is to replace the standing rigging, the wires that hold up the mast. The rigging was last renewed in 2011, before we sailed from the UK. Since then, we have sailed many ocean miles. If we do sail for Panama, we would like to have the confidence that our rigging is less than 10-years old and that other systems have been recently maintained.

04 July 2021
Sue & Andy Warman
Rhapsody hauled out a day before Spruce. A nice gesture by our Dutch friends to test-drive the haul-out equipment before our turn.

04 July 2021
Sue & Andy Warman
Of course, once a series of jobs is commenced a few other tasks emerge. Often tasks that are revealed as things are dismantled. Other integrity checks can be conducted while equipment has been removed. For example, the two steering quadrants need to be removed to gain access to the rudder gland; a perfect opportunity to clean them up, check locking key-ways, grease the autopilot connection, re-tension the steering wires and check them for wear. An awkward and messy job, but it is most satisfactory to know a thorough examination of critical systems has been undertaken before any long ocean passage.
Photo shows the propeller after dismantling, cleaning and reassembly. In the background is the inflatable dinghy. Sue volunteered for the unenviable task of cleaning weed and grime from the bottom and examining for wear and chafe.
Cruising in the South Pacific is indeed sometimes a euphemism for “doing boat maintenance in exotic places”.

04 July 2021
Sue & Andy Warman
So back to that goal of Panama and her Canal. The germination of the idea began to form when the UK changed the tax rules, to re-charge VAT on vessels, that had been away for more than three years, even if originally deemed tax paid. There was a deadline by which to return to avoid this effect. Originally December 20, then December 21, and now June 2022. Although recent communication seems to indicate they have gone back to the former discretionary easement for vessels that departed and then returned to the UK with the same owners.
By the time of the latter information we were already well on the road to investigating what might be involved in sailing the “wrong way” to Panama. It is a long way, 4,200 sea miles by the route we shall take. Yes, we are going for the Panama Canal option, providing our rigging and parts arrive on the next supply ship (we just heard she has engine trouble and Nuku Hiva are running short of fuel). The intention is to sail almost close hauled in a north-east direction for around a 1,000 miles. Once in the equatorial counter current at a latitude of approximately “4-6 Degrees North” to turn east and sail for the Gulf of Panama. The pilot charts suggest there should be a corridor of more favourable winds and current in that zone during August. The journey is expected to take between 30-40 days, depending upon the actual weather encountered.
Our lockers are full with provisions and ready to go. We need to fill up with fuel, come on supply ship “MV Taporo”. If all works out we shall test our rigging, sails and other maintenance work done here by sailing the 100-miles back to Nuku Hiva (due to Covid we cannot clear out from here). On the first decent weather window we shall clear out and depart for the Canal and The Atlantic Ocean.

Still in French Polynesia

18 May 2021 | Hiva Oa - Marquises - French Polynesia
Sue & Andy Warman
This is the longest time that Spruce has been based in a single country, save the period in Malaysia hauled out during 2016-17. While in Malaysia, the time was used to prepare the boat for a voyage to the cold waters of Alaska and also to partake in land/air travel around nearby Asian nations. This sojourn in French Polynesia has been much more localised, in part due to the constraints imposed, real or perceived, by the pandemic.
It is interesting to imagine oneself into the lives experienced by local denizens. We cruisers float through many different lands, meet new cultures, and multitudes of people living quite different lifestyles. Folks living an island existence in the British Isles, still usually have access to a fairly rapid transport network that can whisk them off to the brand of "civilisation" lived by most of their mainland fellow nationals. Not so easily accomplished here in French Polynesia. A look at a satellite-eye image of the Pacific illustrates the difference: isolated dots of land scattered across thousands of miles of ocean. Unlike many smaller countries of Oceania, French Polynesia benefits from a regular network of supply ships also able to convey passengers. Aviation links join the main archipelagos and many larger islands to the central hub of Tahiti. Although, Tahiti is about as far from the Marquises as Rome is from London. Within archipelagos, islands not served by bigger vessels usually have some sort of fast motorboat link that gets people to the main transport network; often a wet ride in lumpy trade wind driven waves, but people can travel. The downside is that inter-island or inter-archipelago travel is expensive. Airfares are hundreds of dollars. An international flight to another country: NZ, Los Angeles or Europe, is also the sort of cost one doesn't incur casually. Therefore, most locals live the majority of their time in small communities physically isolated from fellow nationals. Television and radio provide an important link. (photo shows the away teams arriving for a sports weekend aboard smaller craft - they were all happily wet through as per a normal trip).
Vessel Name: Spruce
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg Rassy 42 - Enderlein Design
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, UK
Crew: Sue & Andy
About: Sue is an artist, plays the flute and guitar. Andy enjoys technical challenges. Both are working hard, harder than last time, at learning French while in French Polynesia again.
Extra:
During 2013 and 2014 we sailed across the Pacific to New Zealand and then Australia. 2015-18 brought us from Asia to Washington State via the North Pacific Rim. In 2019 we cruised BC and then south to Mexico. In 2020 we headed back out into the Pacific with a 3,200M passage to Les Gambiers in [...]
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/littlegreenboat
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Spruce's Photos - Towards Darwin
Photos 1 to 111 of 111 | Main
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Aboriginal cave paintings in the" Ship Shelter" on Flinders Island.
An ancient Aboriginal shell midden.
Sun baked shells.
Some of the lovely shells we saw on the beach at Flinders.
We think this is the flower of the Kapock tree?
Watching out for Salties with sharp teeth!
Rock formations at Flinders Island.
Andy sorting out the main sail.
Andy signs the book at Captain Cooks lookout , Lizard Island.
A view from the top of the Cook
A Gould
A leaf shaped Butterfly.
A view , part weay up to Cook
A small passion flower , Lizard Island.
Matt ,Jean and Andy on the way up to Cook
Sue enjoying a great sail.
A Beach Stone Curlew.
We think this was croc bone
Double rainbow at sea.
Mourilyan sugar cane plant with a dock to load up the shipping.
One of the black tip sharks that visited us.
Continuing a family traditional portrait.
One of the view points in the Whitsunday Islands.
The blue butterfies love the tree grass flower stalks.
Tree grass patterns.
A visit from Gemma on board Spruce.
Beautiful sunset.
Tree grass flowers
Gemma  at the beach.
Sue trying not to get wet feet!
This beatle looks like an African mask.
 
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