Ntombi

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

Winter break

02 June 2019 | Suva, Fiji
Johan & Francina Botha
We finally got the yacht ready for an ocean crossing. It only took 6 years to reach this point. On the morning of 17 May, a small group of friends helped to loosen the lines. It was with mixed feelings that we left Whangarei Marina and our familiar environment behind. We motored down the river to Marsden Cove marina for customs clearance the following morning. Thanks to a dear friend who gave us a chart plotter - it helped that we were able to enter Marsden Cove Marina at low tide. I found the boats original jack lines whilst sorting through the pack of flares. The stitching was however UV damaged. When we arrived at Marsden Cove marina, the captain sewed the jack lines, whilst the crew stowed away all the remaining loose items.
On 18 May, we met customs officer shortly after 8 o 'clock to complete the formalities leaving New Zealand. Fellow yachties cancelled there appointment because one of the weather models predicted strong winds with high waves at the time we would reach Suva. We decided to continue with the voyage and trust on God for a save passage, as we had done in the past.
We left around 10:30 am in low winds. It gave us ample time to redo the reeling lines. By reefing the mainsail, you reduce the size of the sail to suit the strength of the wind. The stronger the wind, the more reefs, or the smaller the sail. The stack pack is a sail cover with a zip at the top. It is held up with ropes and the sail will be stowed away inside the stack pack whilst not in use. The starboard top rope on the stack pack broke when we pulled the mainsail up. It was necessary to go up the mast to put a new rope through the block on the mast. The captain felt sorry for the crew member with weak muscles to pull him up the mast. So, I had to get up the mast in the middle of the ocean to pull the new rope through. I was very glad to be back on deck after this ordeal. With my part accomplished, the captain had to wire the new ropes through the various wheels and blocks to secure the stack pack. The job was done just in time when the wind came up. Luckily, the crew could focus on installing the jacklines. The jack lines are ropes, or rather webbing that is strung from the front of the boat to the back. We were wearing safety harnasses every time we went outside, clipping onto the jacklines to keep us safe on the boat.
When the wind finally came up, it was gusting up to 40 knots. We fell in love with Ntombi's ability to handle strong winds. She sailed like a swan.
Early on day 2, we started the generator to run the watermaker. There was no wind, so we did all the washing. The stainless steel clothes pegs are fabulous to hold the clothes on the line. Although somewhat expensive, the bonus is that it will not rust. On day 4 we observed the clouds with a message of strong winds. Captain secured the floor boards in case of a roll. At night of day 5 we decided to Reef down in anticipation of the change in wind. The port stackpack rope broke. There was no way that captain or crew will risk going up the mast in 3 to 4 meter waves. We tied the sail with stackpack down. The wind came up, gusting mid 30 and once 40 knots. The sail was too small and it caused a very uncomfortable sail. The captain got a brainwave on the possibilies to pull up the sail and secure the stackpack. That is what we did and the sailing was very good. On day 9, the wind died down and the sea was like glass. Crew went up the mast to fix a rope for the port stackpack. Captain replaced all the stackpack ropes to prevent any further incidents. Somewhere along the way, we realized that the waves were too big for a save entry to Minerva Reef. We made the decision to change our course for a direct sail to Suva. The wind changed to be on the nose on the last night. The wind kept on pushing us towards Beqa island. Crew got on her knees to ask for guidance. We changed tack to sail towards Kadavu island. After about an hour, a cruise ship came past us on the course we were on previously. God is great and saved us by forcing us to change tack. When we arrived at the entrance to Suva, we were unable to find the leading lights that help you to navigate past the coral reefs. Crew was also unable to make contact with port control via VHF radio. The phone calls via the satelite phone went through to numbers that is not in service. Again crew were on her knees to ask for guidance. Suddenly the Port Control officers voice came over the radio. He informed us to wait outside the harbour for a fishing boat to exit. We were able to follow the route the fishing boat was taking. Once the fishing boat were outside the Port Control officer suggested that we follow the pilot boat back into the harbour. The pilot boat accompanied the fishing boat to exit the harbour safely. The first thing you see when you enter Suva harbour, is a shipwreck. Inside the harbour is another two shipwrecks and a few very shallow patches. It could be nerve wrecking if you do not have electronic charts on your chart plotter. Electronic charts of Fiji became top on our list of things to buy in Fiji. We anchored in the area where Health quarantine officers visit the yacht to ensure we are safe to enter Fiji. It is a very small island and they cannot afford for viruses to be spread to the island nation. We had to fly a yellow flag to indicate that we are not cleared for Fijian Waters yet. The officers at the Royal Fiji Yacht Club make arrangements with the necessary officers to visit the yacht, at a fee, of course. The first to arrive was the Health officers. The were lovely woman who were very friendly and helpful. When the left shortly after 1 o'clock we were cleared to remove our yellow flag. After lunch, we were honoured with the presence of the bio security, customs and immigration officers. There was a lot of paperwork to deal with, and again, we received a very friendly
service. When they left at 4 o'clock, we were cleared to set foot aground in Fiji. We lowered the inflatable boat, fitted the Yamaha and went ashore. We could not wait to feel ground under our feet. It was however a very interesting experience. The world were moving, or was it us moving and ground standing still? There was no time left to go to town, so we settled for a cold drink at the yacht club before returning to the yacht for an early night. The following day was spent walking to the various offices to make the payments, and to get a cruising permit. This permit allows us to sail in Fijian Waters for the next 5 months.

Comments
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.
Extra:
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
1 Photo
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
10 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.