Panormitis happenings

24 May 2016 | Rodds Bay
24 December 2015
06 November 2015 | Bustard bay
04 November 2015 | Port Bundaberg Marina
27 October 2015 | Port Bundaberg
17 October 2015 | Mele Maat
04 October 2015 | Village of Mele
27 September 2015 | Port Vila
27 September 2015 | Mololo LaiLai
10 September 2015 | Vuda Marina
02 September 2015 | Lautoka
31 August 2015 | Lautoka Fiji
24 August 2015 | Nieafu Tonga
24 August 2015 | Aloft Niue
24 August 2015 | Beveridge Reef
24 August 2015 | Palmerston Island
24 August 2015 | Maupihaa
23 August 2015 | Raiatea
22 August 2015 | Moorea
21 August 2015 | Baie D'Opunohu

Signing off

24 May 2016 | Rodds Bay
This will be the last blog for Panormitis. She has been sold so we will be land based from here on. We have no plans to purchase another yacht. Panormitis was number six and after crossing the Atlantic and the Pacific twice we feel our sailing life is at an end. Who knows what the future will bring but to all you sailing readers we say to keep sailing while you can and we hope you enjoy all the exotic place you will visit. We have loved our sailing life which began back in 1977 but the time has come to move into another life. We hope you have enjoyed reading the blogs and thank everyone who supported us along the way.

Land based

24 December 2015
Sorry to all the blog readers for the great silence. We off course are back at home at Turkey Beach busily getting the house and garden(?) back in order plus clearing out the boat. The washing machine has had a workout running all day everyday. Still everything smells wonderful and I'm loathe to put the bedding back on the boat to become musty while it is locked up.. So I have left it all in bags. Should there be a serious buyer for her I'll have a good couple of hours putting it all back in place. But won't it smell good? Once Christmas has passed we will have to make plans to use the boat so some coastal hopping might be a part of them.
Meantime....
Christmas greetings to you all

Enroute to Turkey Beach

06 November 2015 | Bustard bay
Left Port Bundaberg @ 0500 in rain and the wind from NW. That is where we want to go. So our thoughts of getting home in one day were blown( sorry about the pun) away. Wind on the nose had us tacking. I had thought our uncomfortable sails were over. Not so. 6 fish caught but only 2 made it into the boat. Made for 1770 for the night with fresh fish for dinner. Saturday and the wind is still from NW @ 20 knts. How lovely for the boats leaving Pancake a Creek going south. Down wind sailing...just my style. The Border Patrol plane was busy, calling us up first, lucky we waited for that piece of paper from quarantine. Then the progression of calling all the southbound yachts. Sighted part of a boat floating by. Pleased it is daylight. Rounded Bustard Heads and the wind is were we want it but of course it is now only 10 knts. Sea is calm and there are patches of sun. Very enjoyable. Hope to be settled in TB before lunch.

Clearing in and importing @Port Bundaberg

04 November 2015 | Port Bundaberg Marina
We were directed to the customs wharf and had Lisa and Murray attend to us. Lisa was the customs part and Murray the immigration. All happened with ease but now they don't stamp passports and last trip we needed proof of return to reactivate our private health insurance. Will look at that when it happens. Next official was Wesley from Gladstone to do the quarantine bit. They now don't have the sniffer dogs we were subjected to last time but they do a thorough timber inspection with photos (1.5hrs). For this you pay $380, the start of haemorrhaging money. Allocated a berth and started the process of importing. First a valuation,by an independent valuer not one attached to a brokerage. so you begin telling them everything that is wrong with your boat in the hope that it won't be overvalued as there is a 5%import duty, then add that to the valuation and tack on 10% GST to get the amount you have to give the Government. That done ($500) he gets someone else to do the paperwork to send off for approval...his fee $300. More blood on the floor. Waiting waiting for the bill to arrive and of course Melbourne Cup day is in the way and skeleton staff can't assist. Then we get a notification for a second timber inspection and another bill for $140. Wayne our paper man said no this is not right they are using a policy that was changed 2 years ago, so he gets on to his contact in the department to sort it out. Again we wait and if she can't help it means another weekend looming to have said inspection.
Thursday and lovely Tracey sends us the papers "Released from Quanartine". And no bill!!!!!!! you can win some sometimes. Have paid the big dollars to import and have the Authority to deal certificate so we can finally leave and head for home.
10 days in the marina have been well used. Headsail restitched, anchor and chain regalvanised and finally the electrics have been sorted. More blood on the floor. I must say the marina fees were a pleasant surprise. Including power and water was $45 per night and for a catamaran that is good value.

Vanuatu to Port Bundaberg

27 October 2015 | Port Bundaberg
The two weeks of the school project had us all overwhelmed by the generosity of the local villagers. Hot lunches provided each day. While in Greece we came to love the Gyros as a cheap delicious meal. Well here we have found the Tuluk. Made up of a dough of tapioca with a meat and vegetable filling, wrapped in a banana leaf then cooked in the hot stones in the ground. They are on sale at the roadside stalls. Served warm in another piece of banana leaf for 100vatu ( $1.20 ). People waiting for buses grab them as a snack and Gary and myself would get one when we arrived on the project site before the rest of the crew. Sunday some of the ladies wanted to have a look at the boat and while there was a little chop they all managed the dinghy ride well. We had some local money left so ate ashore at the Beach Bar. Gary found out they were showing the Australia v Scotland rugby match so I let him go ashore by himself at 2am. We both have awful colds and Gary now has an infected leg. We left the anchorage just after 6am and had to motor sail for the first10 hrs before the wind came up. Caught a Wahoo just before bringing in the lines for the night.
Tuesday and we were buzzed by a jet plane belonging to the French Border Control. They called us up wanting destination, POB, and last port. Details supplied we were welcomed into the waters of New Caledonia, albeit no stopping allowed.
The weather has been as bleak as we both feel and while it is not rough, just the no sun or blue sky has us rugged up inside. Friday and the sun is shinning and it is almost the perfect day. We are behind schedule because of light winds but apart from a couple of squalls during the night we haven't had much sail changing going on. If the wind doesn't pick up we will miss our ETA. We are checking in with Fred ( from the school build ) with his SSB radio so he is up to speed with our progress.
Saturday found us in a mill pond and only 2 knts of wind. The iron spinnaker was engaged to keep our average speed. These conditions lasted until 2pm when out of the blue came a 25 knt southerly change. Another reef in the main and wet decks told us we were back sailing.
Sunday and the wind has weakened and swung to the SE, where we wanted it all the time. Last fishing opportunity had 2 yellowfin tuna ( we let one go) and a Mahi Mahi. Now there should be no problems bringing that into Aus. We hope to celebrate the finish of the trip with sushi and beer/wine.
Arrived at the customs anchorage @ 8.45am. Now officially back home in Aus.

The school story

17 October 2015 | Mele Maat
The school story
I thought some information about the project might be a suitable end to our trip. For 13 yrs the Bundaberg Cruising Yacht club organised the Port to Port Rally. From Port Vila to Port Bundaberg ( we were in it in 2009).. After cyclone Pam they decided to use their excess funds to do something so instead of giving it to a NGO ,they chose to do it themselves and not lose money in administration costs. Now! Where to build it. They chose a village called Mele Maat. They did not have a school, so this was to be more like a training centre for young people and the Gov. are looking to supply a teacher. There was a lot of jealousy, not from the local people but by an expat (NZ). She has been a problem from start even up to the day before hand over. She has had papers served on the club insisting it be moved to " her" village, accusing them of not having permission to build or agreements with the chief. So it was great to see the Government represented at the handover ceremony.
From generous donations the club was able to purchase all the materials to complete the building, all the power tools and hand tools and associated gear. It came across in a container with donated school requirements, books for a library and heaps of clothes. The container left Australia in July so it was frustrating to arrive to start and the container wasn't on site and had to be found.
Their team was made up of John (builder and president) Lesley ( the co- ordinator) her husband Fred, Sue a club member and Alex a hanger-on and a useless part of the group....26 going on 10, and lazy. We had heard about it and offered our help if or when we were in the area and hear we are....have been from the start to finish. It has been a very rewarding time and we have made friends with some great people. Our next objective is to come back ( fly I think) to see them all again. On a downer we have all contracted monster colds and Fred has an infected leg so our working part at the end was 3. The local hygiene practices makes it very easy for this to happen. I don't know if they will learn to do things differently.
Tomorrow we head off for Port Bundaberg, the end of the trip. We anticipate a 7 day sail so today ( Sunday) is being spent getting the boat ready. It is dirty from the black sand and working each day from 7 - 4 we haven't had time to clean. It will be the Karcher working overtime when we arrive.
Next blog will be from Aus.
Vessel Name: Panormitis
Vessel Make/Model: Lagoon 410S2
Hailing Port: Gladstone Australia
Crew: Gary and Del Whitmore
About: Gary has salt water in his veins and needs to be near or on the water. Del is his wife and his sailing partner.
Extra: We learned to sail together back in 1977 and have enjoyed a variety of yachts since then. We have previously purchased a monohull in Croatia and took 18months to sail it back to Australia. Now we are doing the trip again this time with a catamaran.
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/panormitis
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Panormitis @ anchor

Who: Gary and Del Whitmore
Port: Gladstone Australia