Ntombi too

Who: Johan and Francina Botha
Port: London
We were very fortunate to be sailing in Cape Town Harbour at the start of the Volvo harbour race. Even more fortunate to meet Laura Dekker, the youngest sailor to do a circumnavigation.
09 September 2019
29 June 2019 | Denerau harbour Anchorage/Wailoaloa beach/Vuda Marina
25 June 2019 | Beqa island, Robinson Crusoe island, Noisali island
06 June 2019 | https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/Ntombi
02 June 2019 | Suva, Fiji
02 May 2019 | Whangarei Marina
23 September 2018
22 November 2012 | New Zealand
27 October 2012 | Tongatapu
28 September 2012 | Tahiti
09 September 2012 | Apataki
01 September 2012 | Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas
26 August 2012 | Hiva Oa
14 July 2012 | Pedro de Gonzalez, Las Perlas
03 July 2012 | Panama
29 June 2012 | Panama
20 June 2012 | Curacao Spaanse waters
20 June 2012 | We left Bonaire at 24h00 in order to arrive at Curacao during daybreak. The sail was very bumpy due to the direction of the waves in the strong wind. We did not sail with the main, but only the headsail with the pole. The wind was mostly from the stern
17 June 2012 | Kralendijk, Bonaire


28 September 2012 | Tahiti
Distance: 229 miles 2 days

The engine on Ntombi is not powerful enought to motor against the current If we try to go out of Apataki whilst the current is flowing into the lagoon. Laurent calculated the correct time for us to exit through the pass - current flowing out - which is after 12h00. We therefore had a slow sail from Apataki Carenage to the pass to ensure we do not arrive before 12h00. Sailing the 10 miles from the boatyard to the pass took us past coral heads and oyster farms. Luckily we did not have to swerve out for any - maybe it was because we sailed in a direct line to the village where the pass is. The pass is well marked with bouys and it was therefore fairly easy to exit Apataki. Definitely not the same experience as our entrance of the north pass.

Whilst at Apataki Carenage we were told of a yacht that was lost on the reef outside the southern pass. The single handed sailor arrived at Apataki during the night and waited for daybreak to enter through the pass. He went to sleep and the currrent took him onto the reef. We saw the yacht when we were leaving Apataki (see photo in gallery).

We continued in fair winds to Tahiti, passing Kaukura atoll. With modern technology and knowledge of the atolls we were able to sail close to Kaukura before we tacked away and about. It looks as if this atoll has a few more motu's (coral sand with palm trees) than Apataki. We passed the atoll around 18h00 on day 1 when the wind started picking up and the waves as well. It is a pity, because the sail during the day was very nice with low wind and low waves.

We are very thankful that we have maps of all the atolls (not all very detailed) on our way to Tahiti. I can understand why sailors avoided this area in the past and why it is known as the dangerous Tuomotu Archipelago. It is much easier with GPS and maps to find your way around the atolls.

When you look at the atoll, you see a motu (a patch of coral sand with coconut trees) and ocean between them. The ocean is however covering (or not) a reef and you cannot sail over it. Some atolls have only one and some two passes where you can enter into the lagoon. Some atolls do not have a pass deep enough for yachts to enter.

The Society island group contains 12 major islands with a windward cluster of 5 and a leeward cluster of 7 islands. Tahiti is part of the windward group and was previously known as Nouvelle Cythere. It is the largest and best known island of the group. Tahiti has an area of approx 400 square miles and is formed of volcanoes connected by an isthmus. The capital city of Papeete is a modern city of more than 128 000 people built around a coastal lagoon. It is also the distribution center for supplies to all of the islands of French Polynesia. Papeete(the Water Basket) is also the home port to the French fleet.

The wind did not get very strong on the first night, but I was still struggling to sleep. It is normally like that on the first night of a voyage. The swells were a bit higher but not too uncomfortable. During day 2 we had a few rainstorms passing which brought the usual stronger wind with no wind after the rain. I became seasick during the very slow sail with low wind. We changed the sails to cater for the strength of the wind and from then onwards it was a very nice sail. I must admit, I can continue sailing in fair winds like this. Unfortunately we had to slow down again to ensure that we do not arrive in Tahiti during nightfall.

Ntombi is sailing like a horse and not a donkey anymore. The new antifouling made a huge difference and maybe our confidence as well. The log is working and the propshaft is not a worry anymore. We are therefore ready for the rest of the journey to New Zealand.

We passed Tetiaora island, which Marlon Brando bought after the shooting of the "Mutiny of the Bounty" in the sixties, around 2h00. I had another restless night (night 2) due to Tahiti getting closer and the worry is always there that you might not wake up when you do fall asleep. I do not want to land up on the reef like the sailor outside Apataki. At 4h00 the lights of Tahiti was more visible and we started making progress to arrive around 7h00. It was an experience to enter through the pass and see the airplane taking off almost over our heads. We had to ask permission to sail passed the airport because the leaving airplane might take your mast with it. After permission was granted we sailed in the channel passed the eastern entrance of the airfield and had to request permission to sail passed the western entrance of the airfield again. We are still waiting for them to grant us permission.

We anchored at Marina Taina and went ashore to find a supermarket and fresh produce. Interesting enough, the lambrib from New Zealand is the cheapest meat per kilo. Even the local chicken is double the price. The baguette (French bread) is subsidised and costs only 50 US cents. When we went back to the boat, the wind was becoming very strong. Johan realised that there is a problem with the little Yamaha engine on the dinghie. After investigation he found that it is not circulating water to cool the engine. It is however almost Sabbath and he will try and fix the engine on Sunday. Johan used his gas barbeque to cook the lambrib inside Ntombi. He told me ages ago that he cannot wait to get to New Zealand to eat a whole lamb rib. Well, New Zealand just came closer than he thought. The wind called Maraamu (SE wind) became very strong and we were unable to move Ntombi to the "yacht in transit" area as indicated by the Marina office. We can now understand why Gilbert wrote in his book, "And the wind carried us" that there were days when they were unable to go ashore. In a wind like this, we will also not be able to go ashore.

The wind died down during the night and we were able to move Ntombi very early in the morning. We were very lucky to find an open mooring in the indicated area. They are normally very scarce. Eric, an ex South African living on his boat at this Marina came to enquire about Ntombi. He recognised the name as Zulu and was puzzled with the New Zealand registration. He offered Johan a lift to the shops but he obviously could not accept because we are keeping the Sabbath.

We watched Dwight Nelson's sermon on the Chosen - why we are a chosen people. We realised how fortunate we are for God to have chosen us to be His children. I also read the chapter of the "Time of Trouble" in The Great Controversy.

On Sunday morning Johan opened the Yamaha engine to find that the impeller is broken. He asked Eric for a lift if he goes ashore. He took us with to the supermarket and Johan stopped at the chandlery shop for an impeller. They unfortunately did not have one in stock and we will have to go to Papeete to the Yamaha agent, or order one through the local chandlery shop. The windpilot that we ordered from Germany will be sent by airfreight on Monday morning (Europe time).

Johan went with Eric and Daphne to Yamaha agent to buy the impeller and fixed it on Monday. We now have our dinghie working and can get ashore as and when we require. The parcel from Germany will be on a flight on Thursday, 4/10/2012. We will therefore spend a bit longer than anticipated in Tahiti.

We got the package on Friday, installed the windpilot. Whilst waiting for the parcel to arrive we discovered that our inner shroud had two broken wires. We decided to replace all the rigging and that was only completed by Wednesday 10/10/12. Checking out proved to be more challenging and we are therefore only able to leave Tahiti on Friday, 12/10/12. The next stop is in Tonga when we will join the "all points rally' group of yacht to sail to Opua, New Zealand.
Vessel Name: Ntombi
Vessel Make/Model: Bruce Roberts, Offshore 45
Hailing Port: London
Crew: Johan and Francina Botha
About: Johan is the captain and qualified diesel engineer with experience in MTU, Detroit, DAF, etc engines.
Sailing in Mauritius in 2003 changed our perception of sail boats. The focus therefore shifted from motor boats to sail boats. We bought a Holiday 23 after completing our Yacht Hand and Day Skipper licence with Ocean Sailing Academy in Durban in 2006. We sailed her on the Vaaldam and the dream [...]
Ntombi's Photos - Main
Sailing Whangarei to Tauranga and back
4 Photos
Created 18 July 2021
Exploring the Western side of Viti Levu
31 Photos
Created 11 July 2019
13 Photos
Created 3 July 2019
Photos taken in Suva and surrounding suburbs
34 Photos
Created 9 June 2019
It took us 11 days, leaving Marsden Cove Marina on 18 May at 10:30. arriving in Suva, Fiji on 29 May at 10:30 am.
11 Photos
Created 4 June 2019
Very convenient marina in the town basin. Our home for 5 years
11 Photos
Created 12 May 2019
5 Photos
Created 12 May 2019
Photos taken on walks in the morning, and the surroundings after we went back into the water (whale rock damages). Waiting for the weather window to sail to attempt to sail to Auckland again.
12 Photos
Created 5 May 2013
Pictures taken of the keel being fit back on after it got loose when we hit whale rock
10 Photos
Created 5 May 2013
Pictures taken during our visit at Petrus and Alicia in Greymouth in January 2013
25 Photos
Created 9 February 2013
Pictures of New Zealand and the people we met
30 Photos
Created 20 December 2012
Photo's taken from the time we left Tongatapu until we arrived in New Zealand
20 Photos
Created 6 December 2012
Sail from Tahiti to Tongatapu island, part of Tonga
75 Photos
Created 5 November 2012
Sail from Hiva Oa, Marquesas to Apataki in Tuamotu
64 Photos
Created 9 October 2012
Photo's taken whilst sailing from Apataki to Tahiti, as well as photo's taken during our stay in Tahiti
99 Photos
Created 5 October 2012
Sail from Las Perlas to Hiva Oa
44 Photos
Created 20 September 2012
Sail from Balboa yacht club, Panama City to Las Perlas
76 Photos
Created 20 September 2012
More photo's of the canal transit and the stay at Balboa yacht club
71 Photos
Created 10 July 2012
Stay in Colon and Balboa as well as the transit through the canal
124 Photos
Created 3 July 2012
Trip from Curacao to Shelter Bay marina in Panama
39 Photos
Created 1 July 2012
Trip from Kralendijk Bonaire to Spaanse Waters Curacao
37 Photos
Created 1 July 2012
Trip from Trinidad to Kralendijk, Bonaire
39 Photos
Created 18 June 2012
84 Photos
Created 11 June 2012
Short visit to Storebay in Tobago with nice snorkeling reefs and white beaches
24 Photos
Created 11 June 2012
Trip from Fortaleza to Tobago. Visit in Scarborough, the capital of Tobago
57 Photos
Created 31 May 2012
Photo's from the trip between Ascension island and Fortaleza, Brazil
15 Photos
Created 31 May 2012
Photo's of the trip from Ascension island to Fernande de Noronha, Brazil
33 Photos
Created 27 May 2012
12 Photos
Created 15 April 2012
Voyage from Cape Town in South Africa to Saint Helena Island in the Atlantic Ocean
25 Photos
Created 15 April 2012
Photos from the day we took ownership to the day Ntombi was transported from Vaaldam to Richardsbay to sail in the Indian Ocean
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 28 December 2011
Photos of Ntombi when we took ownership
6 Photos
Created 28 December 2011

Ntombi too

Who: Johan and Francina Botha
Port: London
We were very fortunate to be sailing in Cape Town Harbour at the start of the Volvo harbour race. Even more fortunate to meet Laura Dekker, the youngest sailor to do a circumnavigation.