Map overview

12 February 2014
A overview of where we went on our trip
We are now living on the boat based in darwin and working again

if you would like some more info on the blog or i could help you with info if you are thinking of doing a similar thing e mail us on
we would be more than happy to help

Regards Mark

Short summary on to darwin

18 January 2014

Well it was time to split from the pack and head off to Darwin Veedon Fleece and Azzan were going east round cape York (to difficult for us with out an engine ) They towed us out of the harbor and we set sail for Darwin about 450 miles away we setteled into a watch system of 1 hour on 3 hours off as we still didn’t have an auto pilot it was hand steer all the way and the boys did a great job getting up a 3 in the morning and sailing the boat all by them selves with no one else awake they steered and when the spotted a ships light or any thing would take a bearing on it to see if it was an issue only waking me if it was going to be close a great achievement and im very proud of them and Catherine we made a quick trip across doing 200 plus miles a dau until Bathurst island where the wind deserted us and we went backwards for 6 hours with the tide in the afternoon a bit of breeze started us off in the right direction again . We sailied thru the Vernon islands with the wind dropping till we got to within at 3 am we had managed to get within 16 miles of Darwin where we had to get the dingy in the water and push ourselves to Darwin before the tide changed and pushed us back out to sea again
note : When we were in tual we brought a generator to help us with our power woes as we couldn’t charge our batteries with no engine

I will add some pics etc of the last part when I get them and finish off the blog shortly

Thanks for taking an interest in our journey hope you enjoyed it we certainly did if anyone or boats would like some more detail on these places e mail us on put in the subject line : RE BLOG INFO so we know its not spam

Regards the relapse crew
Mark Catherine Ash and Cameron

Made at the school

17 January 2014
They made all sorts of crafty things which they sell to make money for the school all on display in one of the classrooms

Tual our last port of our asian tour

17 January 2014
In tual we were well looked after once again by the local tourism board people but had the usual hassle of clearing out of Indonesia once again it took 4 days still when in Rome………
We went to the local school and had a great afternoon being their guest they have a sewing class in which pupils make all the uniforms for every one in the school on the old pedal sewing machines Catherine just had to have a go

On to Tual

17 January 2014
Once again Azzan towed us in the light Patches toward our destinations although when there was enough wind to sail we did that both boats became dab hands as passing , securing and retrieving the tow rope as we could sometimes do it 2 or 3 times a day
The pilot book says that tual has 3 lightning storms a year typical we got a big one and out of season as well oh what fun aproching an island land fall with charts a mile out wet thru in a thunder storm OH JOY !!

A couple of stops then tual

17 January 2014
Cruising down the coast from fakfak was exceptional hardly any one there just the transient fisherm men and we were starting to get back into seeing schools of fish and sharks cruising the surface which we hadn’t see in most of asia The fish and the coral was very different with lots of stuff we hadn’t seen before but once again hard to find anchorages with depths shallow enough to anchor in thank god foe stored google earth images to find shallow enough water to anchor in.
We had trouble tearing our selves away from this part of the coast but we had to keep movig as there are seasonal weather deadlines that must be met

Midday almost on the equator

17 January 2014
After we left fakfak to make our way down to tual and meet up again with veedon fleece . We were just about on the equator and a strange sort of a frontal system came thru it was a bit surreal it was really low clouds hanging over the rain forest. It looked like it was mist hanging around the valleys of an alpine aera not at all where we were.

Always interested children like rent a crowd

17 January 2014
While waiting for a shave and a haircut (with a cut throat razor that took 45 min and cost $3 ) the children all want to try their school English out on you and follow you down all the back streets laughing a shouting and making a game of the foreigners I don’t think they had seen many white faces here

Industrial sunset

17 January 2014
Bit of a change not seeing the sun set over a pristine bit of beach and coconut trees but cranes on a reclamation of reef to make the port bigger


17 January 2014

We continued on to the regional port town of Fakfak and spent a few days there we had a few customs hassles but they were eventually sorted out when they realized we were just stopping and not trying to clear in we enjoyed a few days wandering around sight seeing and being well looked after by the locals the only downer was the boys got their ipods nicked off the boat and we were only 50 m away on AZzan 50 m away having a sundowner and the boat was only un attended for about half an hour still that is the only time on our whole trip we lost any thing off the boat and we never really locked the boat up

On to Irian Jayah the west papua mainland

17 January 2014
These places we aare a real novelty I doubt they had had boats stop in their bay before and they are all interested in seeing the new attraction we spent the whole day entertaing locals they just kept coming they were really Melanesian in their appearance.

Last night bbq in pisang

17 January 2014
The ladies drinking wine the boys off climbing trees the men cooking the girls reckoned that was about right

So they went on to jumping off the rocks for a few hours of fun

17 January 2014
They climbed further and further up I was impressed with how high they jumped from The PC nanny brigade would havehad a heart attack but luckly there were no fun police within a thousand miles

Ash And Cam hamming it up again

17 January 2014
At one time they had half a dozen of these sea snails crawling on them till I told them I could see one pooping on cams cheek all of a sudden it wasn’t so much fun any more

Just to artistic to leave out

17 January 2014
The view from the top of the little island the fisherman were bombing the reef in the channel in the foreground (BUGGER)

We had a great time swimming and snorkeling round this island

17 January 2014
Interesting island geologically it was just made up of layers it looked just like a brick building

Another beautiful beach

17 January 2014
What can you say ?

Azzan in the evening (sundowner time )

17 January 2014
We found a space with shallow enough water to anchor and spent a few days exploring the local beaches and islands by dingy plenty of swimming and bbqs on the beach
WE went off the local fishermen a bit when we discovered they were using explosives to catch the fish this wrecks the reef and in doing so effectively destroying their own future

Local fishermen in Pisang

17 January 2014
Once again the island had no villages on it just a transient fishing population that were very friendly and just beautiful (and overused word ) beaches

Off to banda whoops we ended up in pisang Getting towed again by Azzan this time

17 January 2014
.We left misool in the morning to cruise down to ambon with Veedon Fleece who left from another anchorage about 15 miles away we sailed out and promptly ran out of wind where we sat going nowhere all day while they had good wind and unknowingly sailed off till they later found out our plight and it was impractical to come and help us although they did offer (aren’t some fellow cruisers wonderful people ) So we sat there with no wind but the flipside of it was watching lots of huge sperm whales cruise past us while we sat on a glassy sea going Azzan kindly changed their plans and came out and towed us till we got some wind in the middle of the night and could sail our selves but not in the direction we were initially heading but to the papua coast which ended up a wonderful detour we will just have to do banda another day

Inside the Island

17 January 2014
We went off for an explore in the dingy and found a passage thru the island with lots of pretty little cove s to explore for the afternoon

Ash off for a dive with Jamie

17 January 2014
Jamie off azzan took ash for a couple of dives at barracuda point and said it was as good as anywhere in the world so ash is now spoilt rotten and will foreva be looking for some where as good to dive again . still ash loved it

The boys just playing

17 January 2014
Make your own fun island style not a electronic gizmo in sight

More Stunning tropical beaches

17 January 2014
A beach like this with plenty of time and friends to laze around with on Priceless

Picture Perfect picnic beaches

17 January 2014
Luckly there were moorings off the beachor we couldn’t have stayed as the drop off off fron the reef was straight down to 150 metres how different from NZ if we could find an anchorage in 25 m of water we thought it was great

Baby sharks in the shallows

17 January 2014
There is all sorts of marine life round here just sitting on the beach you could see the baby sharks come in off the reef and up on to the sandy beach looking for snack some were only 600 mm long jaws in miniature!!

Misool resort

17 January 2014
A beautiful eco resort with 99% of buildings, decks & dining furniture made from fallen trees collected from this island washed up on the beach and the neighbouring ones. They have their own sawmill so can process whatever they find.
We hung here on one of their big moorings whilst Mark drained all the oil out of the engine checked a couple of other things and put new oil in. A very messy job so the boys & I decided to disappear for a wander around the resort. When we got back the new oil had just gone in and Mark started the engine. We all had everything crossed and were very excited when it started straight away sounding just like normal but when pale looking “frozen coke” came out of the hole in the top of the engine excitement turned to disappointment and Mark pronounced it DEAD!


17 January 2014
Well after a pleasant day’s sail from Obi Island we started the engine to charge the batteries. It ran for a few minutes and died. No big deal blocked filter right? Wrong!!!!
I went to change the filter and there was oil and water coming out of the breather so it obviously needed a bit more than just a new filter! Anyway we sailed all night only to be becalmed in the morning. Veedon Fleece were shadowing us like a mother hen and they threw us a rope and proceeded to tow us for the next 24 hours to the resort at misool island

On to Obi island

17 January 2014
We left Lubah In the evening and did an overnighter to Obi island and arrived to a beautiful calm anchorage and lovely little beach where we stayed a couple of days. We enjoyed picnics on the beach and sundowners every evening. At this point we were originally going to Ambon then on to Banda, the other boats to Raja Ampat and Misool island. After much deliberating we also decided to go on to Raja Ampat with the thought that we would leave the others later and go to Banda after a week in Raja ampat as we had some time in hand before our visas ran out (good decision)

he motley crews at the fort

17 January 2014
The old cannons are still just lying abandoned in the fort, most of them half buried. You sort of got the feeling that they don’t see too many western tourists and not too many tourists come to the fort at all. Once again we were a novelty and we never saw another white face but lots of local faces with big friendly smiles.

Up on the ramparts of the fort

17 January 2014
Still in good condition for a 16 century building you could see all the shells and coral that they used to build it in the broken pieces of wall

16th century fort in Lubah

17 January 2014
We were peddled round town in a trishaw. Every time that there was a bit of a rise in the road, the peddlers really struggled I don’t suppose they were used to carting that much weight !! One of the highlights of Lubah was a 16 century fort left by the Portuguese and the Dutch from when Lubah was a strategic post during the spice wars. Still in good condition with a moat still full of stagnant water good for an explore and a climb on for the boys

Lubah resort

17 January 2014
In town the tourism people were waiting for us as we steped out of the dingy and guided us to whatever/wherever we needed and told us to go and anchor off the resort. They had a welcome lunch put on for us and there we stayed a few days enjoying the resort and the swimming. The three boats just had a relaxing time with a trip into town planned for one of our rest days

Off lubah town

17 January 2014
Still the bad weather stayed for the night so it was a stay home evening and move on to lubah town in the morning it was a pretty 20 miles thru island passages with fast flowing currents and beautiful scenery. As it was still blowing quite hard we couldn’t anchor off the town but sheltered behind a little headland in a pretty bay for the night and went and anchored off the town the next day for fuel and fresh veges in the local market

To Lubah town

17 January 2014
The next island down was Palau Bacan which was only about 30 miles away which we had to navigate thru the narrow channel in the pouring rain and bad visibility with a strong current but it was easy we just followed Azzan aahh cruising in company can defiantly have its benefits. The anchorage was average but at least it was calm. Nice flat anchorages were like hens teeth in indo

Kayoa our equator party

17 January 2014
The equator party was set for the next night where we all sat and watched the sun go down enjoying all our specially hoarded gourmet treats ( camembert olives etc )and our carefully rationed beer !!! This was the first time we had met Jamie & Dawn off Azzan whom we would spend a fair bit of time with on our way to Tual. A great couple of people and we all enjoyed there company immensely.
There were 3 large fishing villages on this island and they all very friendly and waved as they went by shouting hello mister as they passed with small boats weighted down with all manner of Freight we stayed a couple of days and had to keep moving as we all had an appointment to keep with Cape York

Manado to Darwin

17 January 2014
We left Manado, no wind as usual, and started heading for the Himeraha archipelago which we would reach In a few days with just one stop on the top of Sulawesi
The true beginning of the “spice islands”, We were going to go to Ternate decided to give it a miss so that we could catch up with Veedon Fleece and their friends on Azzan ( a very fortunate decision to cruise in company in hindsight). So we moved direct from Sulawesi to Kayoa, doing an overnight passage in 20 knots of breeze, Recrossing the equator and through a very busy shipping lane arriving at about Lunch time. We were waiting patiently for the other boats to arrive but they ended up on the other side of the island. When they saw us on the AIS they realized we were in a nice calm flat anchorage and they arrived a few hours later.

The World’s smallest monkey

11 September 2013
We ended the trip with a visit to a zoo (not very modern but very Asian ) to see the world’s smallest monkey. We were looking through the cage at them when the manager came along and said “no no” and opened the cage and let us in with the Tarsiers. Ash and Cam hand fed them grasshoppers much to their delight it wouldn’t have happened in the western world


10 September 2013
Snakes and dogs but for the squeamish we withheld those pics


10 September 2013
The MEAT section (EVERYTHING you can imagine)

Traditional Highland town Market from veges to????

10 September 2013
Everything here. Catherine just loves shopping for fresh veges and takes an age fussing and bartering over the price she always comes home with a huge bag of veges for us to consume (hooray)

Holiday houses

10 September 2013
On the way up to the highland region we stopped at a place where they built kitset houses. There was a whole road of them in various stages of construction right up to the part where they were broken down again and loaded into a container for shipping. It was about $10,000 for a two bedroom house like the one pictured (you would probably freeze in them in NZ but great for the tropics). Manado is about 1degree north of the equator

A day trip into the highlands

10 September 2013
We hired a car driver and a guide for the day and went touring. This is very much a Christian area although you could still be woken at 5am by the wailing of the local moque. On the way out to the highlands there was this huge statue of Jesus put up by a local business man ( I had to take this pick for Catherine’s mother)

On to Manado with it’s own volcano right on its doorstep

10 September 2013
We did an overnight to Manado so so different from Borneo where you had the stress of keeping look out for logs and numerous fishing boats. It was a very relaxing enjoyable motor sail only a few fishing boats off the main towns
We arrived in the morning to end up anchoring 100m away from Macdonalds The only area in the bay shallow enough to anchor. If you were a kilometer off shore it was 800m deep. It sort of limits where you can “park”. We ended up spending 4 days here once again the nice place we might as well stay trap At least we had a ringside seat as the volcano kept us entertained as it rumbled away

Just passing by

10 September 2013
These two guys were on their way back from the large local town to Palelah about 30 miles away and stopped for the night in the bay and came for a visit. How the hell they slept the night in the bottom of a dug out cane I don’t know but next morning at first light they were on their way while we were moving on as well. We were just starting to leave and the local head man came out all dressed up in his finery with an interpreter they had got specially from another village for a visit apparently it’s a very rare thing to have a cruising boat in the bay
We were very embarrassed that we had to go but explained we had a lot of miles to do that day to Manado. They had gone to a lot of effort and the head man looked a bit disappointed we were leaving so soon I think if we didn’t we would have been there for days . (due to Indonesian hospitality)

Pied pipers???

05 September 2013
After a wander round the village collecting a hoard of children as we went all talking at the top of their voices they all came down to the wharf to see us off .
In the evenings we sat on the boat watching all the kids and adults flying amazing Kites off the wharf every now and then one would go splat on the water and some kid was dispatched of swimming to bring it back it was all very entertaining and colourful to watch with a drink as the sun went down

Catherine’s snorkeling photo

05 September 2013
What is it and find Nemo

Palau Palelah

05 September 2013
Across the top of Sulawesi was just beautiful we stopped here for 3 days. We had an island off the village all to ourselves with great snorkeling. Beautiful days spent under the towering hills and in the evening and at night the wind changed round and the cool air off the hill tops flowed down and thru the boat all night making it the first time in ages we actually needed a blanket

Toli Toli to Manado

05 September 2013
Just like Toli Toli we were amazed in the amount of interest the locals had in us. We suppose it’s because they are very friendly and inquisitive and don’t see many cruising boats in this part of the world. These fishermen just came and looked while they kept fishing. After half an hour we were pretty much alone again

A few less for dinner

01 September 2013
A BIG BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE IN TOLI TOLI especially Hendra & his friends. One of the highlights of our trip xxxx
Vessel Name: RELAPSE
Vessel Make/Model: Young 50
Hailing Port: Auckland New Zeland
Crew: Mark Catherine Ash Cameron
Hi we are a family of 4, Ash 11 and Cameron 10. We had a taste of cruising in 2005 on a 35 footer for six months in Fiji. Loved it and want to do it again so Dad (Mark) is building a bigger boat to go further and for longer this time. [...]
Extra: Well its 2016 now and relapse is back home in New Zealand after about 17,000 miles ash is 16 cam 14 and catherine well im not allowed to say we had a great time but its back to normal now for a while thanks for following regards mark


Who: Mark Catherine Ash Cameron
Port: Auckland New Zeland