Going Home! (April 2014)

Vessel Name: Nirvana
Vessel Make/Model: 37' Irwin Ketch
Hailing Port: St. John US VI
Crew: Marc and Eric
Social:
29 September 2013 | Near Redland City Marina, Australia
06 September 2013 | Brisbane Australia
05 September 2013 | 103 miles ENE of Brisbane
04 September 2013 | 236 miles ENE of Brisbane
03 September 2013 | 353 miles ENE of Brisbane
02 September 2013 | 474 miles ENE of Brisbane
01 September 2013 | 601 miles NE of Brisbane
31 August 2013 | New Caledonia
30 August 2013 | 8 Miles from pass into New Caledonia
29 August 2013 | 128 Miles NNE of New Caledonia
28 August 2013 | 250 miles NNE of New Caledonia
27 August 2013 | Luganville, Vanuatu
24 August 2013 | Luganville, Vanuatu
22 August 2013 | Ambrym Island, Vanuatu
19 August 2013 | Port Vila,Vanuatu
16 August 2013 | Tanna, Vanuata
15 August 2013 | Waisisi Bay, Tanna, Vanuatu
15 August 2013 | 83 miles ENE of Tanna Vanuatu
14 August 2013 | 223 miles ENE of Tanna
13 August 2013 | 376 miles ENE of Tanna Vanuatu
Recent Blog Posts
29 September 2013 | Near Redland City Marina, Australia

Last night on Nirvana at anchor

We left the mooring in Brisbane this morning about 10am. We had a very good last night in Brisbane as there was a huge festival called Riverfire. Brisbane set up barges full of fireworks all along the river in the city. At 7pm they had the most spectacular fireworks I have ever seen. All around us [...]

06 September 2013 | Brisbane Australia

Arrived in Brisbane

We arrived yesterday morning in Brisbane after sailing 1163 miles from Vanuatu. The last day was very pleasant as the wind slowly backed off and turned more east as we approached Brisbane. We caught two big mahi, 50 pounds and 35 pounds just at sunset so we will have fish for some time here. The weather [...]

05 September 2013 | 103 miles ENE of Brisbane

Day 5 to Australia

We sailed 134 miles yesterday with an average speed of 5.58 knots. Wind was still up yesterday gusty 20-30 knots and we still have the third reef in the main adjusting the genoa according to conditions. Seas calmed a little don to 8-10 feet and not quite so angry. Winds are about 20 knots this morning [...]

04 September 2013 | 236 miles ENE of Brisbane

Day 4 to Australia

We sailed 118 miles yesterday with an average speed of 4.92 knots. As predicted, conditions have been very poor with 25-30 knots of wind, higher gust around squalls, and 12 foot seas. Not the worst conditions we have been in but close. The beam reach makes these conditions very wet and uncomfortable. [...]

03 September 2013 | 353 miles ENE of Brisbane

Day 3 to Australia

We sailed 129 miles in the last 22 hours with an average speed of 5.86 knots. I am writing this update a couple of hours early as I am up and the weather has calmed some for the moment. The heavy weather arrived yesterday about 5pm with winds up to 30 knots. It is still dark but I would guess seas [...]

02 September 2013 | 474 miles ENE of Brisbane

Day 2 to Australia, calm before the storm

We sailed 141 miles yesterday averaging 5.88 knots. Wind started to die off last night as predicted and turn south so Eric started the motor last night. We are motoring now in about 5 knots of wind out of the south in calm seas. We have continued on our course of about 200 degrees and have a 230 degree [...]

Last night on Nirvana at anchor

29 September 2013 | Near Redland City Marina, Australia
Marc
We left the mooring in Brisbane this morning about 10am. We had a very good last night in Brisbane as there was a huge festival called Riverfire. Brisbane set up barges full of fireworks all along the river in the city. At 7pm they had the most spectacular fireworks I have ever seen. All around us were fireworks, from barges, buildings and the bridge next to us. The show lasted 25 minutes and was a perfect last night in Brisbane. We had a couple from Germany on board, Julian and Jenny, whom we met the night before.

This morning it was time to let go of the mooring and get to Redlands City Marina where we will be hauled out at 6am tomorrow morning. Tides here are 6 foot plus and everything you do must be timed with the tides. We motored 33 miles southeast in 20 knots plus of southeast wind on the nose. It was a very wet ride as the tide was pushing into the wind making the 3-4 foot seas very choppy. The channel in is very shallow and we touched bottom a few times with about a foot below high tide when we arrived at 3pm. We made it without going aground though so our record is intact with almost 12,000 miles sailed and not once being aground. Of course we have to get into the marina in the morning but it is only 1/4 mile down river from where we are now. Haul out time is 6am, you would never see that in the Virgin Islands! High tide is 6:30am so Peter, the manager, want to get us out right before the high tide.

We are now anchored just upstream of the marina in a deep hole, 12 feet. We have one anchor out and a line to a tree to keep us in the middle of the stream. I feel like we are at a hurricane hole as the river is only about 50 feet across here. Eric has a handline in the water hoping to catch something. He is frying up some steaks for dinner now, yum.

The surveyor will be at the marina at 10am and I am anxious to see how that goes. I have a bad listening of marine surveyors along the line with banks and insurance companies. In the states they tend to be very conservative, by the book and look for absolutely anything that may be not be 100% like new. Nirvana being 41 years old now should present a good opportunity to find some things. I have made up my mind that I will not be brought down on my price no matter what is said. I will whatever I can that is reasonable but it is what it is and take her or leave her. At $30,000AUD she is a steal. I will post another update when I have more information.

Arrived in Brisbane

06 September 2013 | Brisbane Australia
Marc
We arrived yesterday morning in Brisbane after sailing 1163 miles from Vanuatu. The last day was very pleasant as the wind slowly backed off and turned more east as we approached Brisbane. We caught two big mahi, 50 pounds and 35 pounds just at sunset so we will have fish for some time here. The weather turned VERY cold after the sun went down, I would guess in the upper 50's. No matter how many clothes you put on the cold still got through.

We pulled up to the quarantine dock at Riverport Marina at 6:30am. There was another catamaran there when we arrived who also said they had a rough passage. They had already spoken to customs and said they would arrive between 7 and 8am. Customs showed up just a little after 7am and we cleared through with them in minutes. We then had to wait for about an hour for biosecurity to come. Four men showed up and two came to out boat first and two to the cat. They spent an hour digging through everything on the boat and then were joined by the other two. They only threw out a few items, two eggs, some onions and sushi rice they found a weevil and took a sample for further investigation. They checked everywhere for termites, thankfully none were found. Our experience was very pleasant with customs as they were extremely friendly and nice.

We then washed Nirvana at the dock as she was covered in salt. We then motored farther up the river and took a mooring off the Botanical Gardens. It is $70 a week here and is located right in the heart of downtown. I went in bought a phone and dongle for laptop internet. I called my boat broker and set up an appointment for Monday for her to due a customs evaluation and help me get started with importation. I plan to try to buy a cheap car today and find a storage unit to off load a bunch of stuff I plan to ship back to Florida. The list of things to due is long but I am sure it will go quickly. My experience of Australia thus far is very positive and look forward to spending some time here.

Day 5 to Australia

05 September 2013 | 103 miles ENE of Brisbane
Marc
We sailed 134 miles yesterday with an average speed of 5.58 knots. Wind was still up yesterday gusty 20-30 knots and we still have the third reef in the main adjusting the genoa according to conditions. Seas calmed a little don to 8-10 feet and not quite so angry. Winds are about 20 knots this morning at about 125 degrees finally aft of our beam. We are all pretty worn out and definitely ready to make landfall. We will reach the Brisbane River sometime very early tomorrow morning. We need to clear in at a marina up river. Customs has docks set aside there distinguished by yellow somehow. Hopefully we will be able to spot this in the dark and dock. If not we will have to find a place to anchor until they open at 7:30am. I will post again from Brisbane tomorrow :-)

--

Day 4 to Australia

04 September 2013 | 236 miles ENE of Brisbane
Marc
We sailed 118 miles yesterday with an average speed of 4.92 knots. As predicted, conditions have been very poor with 25-30 knots of wind, higher gust around squalls, and 12 foot seas. Not the worst conditions we have been in but close. The beam reach makes these conditions very wet and uncomfortable. We are running the third reef in the main and a beach blanket size jib out cutting our speed but making the ride ride safe and more comfortable. We will most likely have about 24 more hours of these conditions before calming near the coast of Australia. The weather and sea water temp keeps dropping and staying warm up top is a challenge. Other than that, all is well and I will post another update tomorrow.

--

Day 3 to Australia

03 September 2013 | 353 miles ENE of Brisbane
Marc
We sailed 129 miles in the last 22 hours with an average speed of 5.86 knots. I am writing this update a couple of hours early as I am up and the weather has calmed some for the moment. The heavy weather arrived yesterday about 5pm with winds up to 30 knots. It is still dark but I would guess seas to be 8 feet. We are running our rhumb line to Brisbane at 253 degrees and winds are about 140 giving us just forward of a beam reach due to drift. We put in the third reef for the first time yesterday afternoon and it is working very well with just a little genoa out also. Aaron cooked up a big batch of fish and rise casserole yesterday so we shouldn't have to worry about cooking for the next couple of days. Winds just started howling again and Eric is up top by himself so I better cut it short. All is well and I will post another update tomorrow.

--

Day 2 to Australia, calm before the storm

02 September 2013 | 474 miles ENE of Brisbane
Marc
We sailed 141 miles yesterday averaging 5.88 knots. Wind started to die off last night as predicted and turn south so Eric started the motor last night. We are motoring now in about 5 knots of wind out of the south in calm seas. We have continued on our course of about 200 degrees and have a 230 degree course to Brisbane now. Hopefully we can get another 5 degrees before the wind picks up tonight. The grip files yesterday were ugly. It seams everyday I have downloaded them they have shown more wind and higher seas to come. The forecast yesterday was winds up to 25 knots and seas up to 3.5 meters or about 12 feet. Unfortunately, every time I have seen this in the past it has been much stronger than predicted. Winds are forecast to start picking up tonight and then come howling tomorrow at about 145 degrees. This should give us a beam reach which will be very wet but hopefully doable. If it is too much we can fall off another 15 degrees to Bundaberg but hopefully we have sailed south far enough to make Brisbane. I fried a ton of fish last night so that we will have some meat prepared when we can no longer cook. We will most likely cook a bunch more stuff today if the weather holds. Last time we had these conditions coming into Tonga, I had a can of cold baked beans for dinner. The weather is getting colder with temps in the mid 60's last night. The water temp is down to 71 degrees so this will make our coldest beating. Oh well, guess we will go out with a bang. Didn't fish much yesterday trying not to slow down but did catch two skip jack tuna and lost a mahi in the short time we had lines out. I will post another update tomorrow.

--
Nirvana's Photos - Main
50 Photos
Created 14 June 2013
65 Photos
Created 3 April 2013
Pics taken at Shelter Bay Marina, Colon Panama
2 Photos
Created 5 March 2013
Pictures yaken of Nirvana on our way to colon Panama
7 Photos
Created 28 February 2013
Pictures taken on our way to the San Blas Islands and some of after we got here
3 Photos
Created 11 February 2013
37 Photos
Created 19 January 2013
These islands were unique in that they were only a 1/2 mile apart but one was in the Grenadines and the other in Grenada. We visitted Petite Martinique part of Grenada without clearing customs from the Grenadines as this is common practice. Lovely island without tourism influence, a fishing community.
16 Photos
Created 24 December 2012
Absolutely spectacular anchorage. There are more photos on the other camera and I will get them uploaded shortly. If you are sailing through this area, don'y miss it!
9 Photos
Created 24 December 2012
Almost two weeks here with a very close friend giving us the time of our lives!! Thank you Vicki & Sam!!
1 Photo
Created 17 December 2012
Good times with fully grown people playing in mud!
20 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
good hunting in Bequai
9 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
While the guys were out diving I got a personal tour...
17 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
Just a few pictures of our day sail.
4 Photos
Created 17 December 2012

About & Links

SailBlogs Groups
SailBlogs Friends
Gitanos
hlamff sailmaker - China