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

Suva to the Western islands updated 02-07-19

25 June 2019 | Beqa island, Robinson Crusoe island, Noisali island
Johan & Francina Botha | Overcast, Sunny
We woke up this morning (25/6/19) in Suva harbour and it was wet. Raining off and on and we considered postponing our sail westwards. At 9:30 the weather cleared slightly and we let go of the anchor. I am unsure of the type of dirt in the Suva harbour, but I can tell you that a piece of the anchor chain is stained like gold. The anchor chain was very dirty and covered in mud. It was a time consuming process to clean the anchor chain whilst lifting it into the anchor locker. Finding our way out of Suva harbour was fairly easy because we knew what to look for, and we bought charts for the Garmin chart plotter. The wind was very light to start off and we motorsailed all the way to our Anchorage. The wind came up to 15 knots gusting @ 24 whilst inside Beqa lagoon between the coral heads. On our way we passed two wrecks on a Reef. The one is a fairly new and quite big yacht. We were wondering what had happened to them. Did they try to enter the harbour and the wind pushed them into the Reef, engine failure, negligence, or what was the cause?. Was this also their home like Ntombi is to us? The entrance to Beqa lagoon was also quite tricky. I will not trust paper charts to guide me in. The bearing is a conspicuous mango tree on a cliff. One lonely tree that God preserve to lead sailors safely through the pass, like he kept us safe on our journeys. We had to dodge the bommies (suspicious looking poles sticking out of the water) and coral heads once inside the lagoon. Luckily the chart plotter was fairly accurate and we could navigate to our Anchorage in Malumu Bay, a valley of Beqa island. In the valley is a resort and a few new houses that they are still busy building. One of the villagers came to visit us. I suspect he wanted kava, but we did not offer any. The rule is that you do not need to pay the chief with kava if you anchor at a hotel or resort. During our conversation it came to light that his uncle is working at the resort. He is using broken English with a very heavy accent. Maybe my accent is just as strong to him as his was to me. I realised that Fiji still has very remote areas and I wondered if the practices of a few centuries ago was still part of the current day. He eventually sold us 4 green coconuts. We laughed because he took a very long time to deliver them. Suspect that he went to his village, climbed the tree and cut them off for us. He might have spend more on fuel to deliver to us than what we paid for it. He left us all smiles and very happy. I struggled to open it at first, but my skills improved and the last one was fairly easy. The juice is apparently rejuvenating and very healthy. We had a quite night at anchor in the well protected Bay.
Early on the morning 26/6/19 we woke up to a beautiful view of lush green vegetation and some exposed rocks. There might be waterfalls during heavy rain. The wind forecast was for very light winds the first two hours, so we lifted the anchor to get out of the lagoon before the wind stars blowing to strong. We plotted our route out of Beqa lagoon the previous night and it was an fairly easy navigation. We exited into the Beqa channel, which has a very wide entrance.
We started off motoring, but the wind picked up to 18 knots whilst still inside the lagoon. We rolled out the headsail and started sailing. The wind was east south east at 17 to 24 knots gusting to 30. The crew somehow got the main halyard loose and it eventually wrapped itself around the furled headsail. She managed to use the boat hook to get it down. We hoisted the mainsail and when she hoisted the staysail, the boat hook landed in the water. The only casualty thus far and the lesson learned to safely stow away equipment before moving onto the next task. I thoroughly enjoyed the sail today. The wind was strong, but Ntombi sailed like never before, reaching up to 8 knots. When we approached the entrance to Sovi Bay, I did not feel comfortable with the Bay. It is basically a beach surrounded with coral. With the strong wind blowing, we might be blown onto the beach, because there is no space for sufficient scope. We decided to change our plans and continue to the next Anchorage, planned for a visit on Thursday. I am grateful for that decision because Likuri harbour offers a well protected Anchorage in front of the Likuri island. Robinson Crusoe resort on this small island greeted us with two boats with Fijian singing. As the evening progressed, they entertained their guests with folk songs, drums and Western music. The music is very load and can be heard on the yacht a couple of miles away.If you close your eyes and you think of the movie Jumanji, you will know what I am talking about. African drums, etc.
We had a very good nights rest. The water was flat and calm with no movement at all. The sound of the waves breaking on the Reef was very load at high tide in the early hours (2:00 am) of the morning. It reminded me of the sounds we heard from our flat in Richardsbay. After a light breakfast we winched in the anchor. And guess what? The anchor came out clean, no mud, except the golden stain from Suva harbour still on the one section of chain.
Although following my tracking line from entering the harbour was still scary. It was low tide and you realize how little space their is where the water has sufficient depth for Ntombi to pass through safely. The wind was 17 knots with .5 meter waves which made a very pleasant sail. I was even surprised with freshly baked pancakes. We planned to enter through the pass and sailed into the bay at Korobalavu. We however changed our plans and sailed to the next bay closer to Noisali Island. We dropped anchor and enjoyed a lovely afternoon, eating fried bread for dinner. Crew went for a swim in the warm water. She cleaned the rudder of the wind steering. It is unbelievable how much green hair were growing on it after a few weeks in the water. Once the rudder were tied outside of the water, she swam next to the yacht on the starboard side, cleaning some spots above the waterline. Suddenly I heard a very load " help me out" and she was at the back already out of the water. It was a blue jellyfish the size of a dinner plate swimming past her. A spectacular sunset was a very special painting from God to end our day.
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.