SVs Saraoni and Sundari

25 January 2020 | Scarborough marina, Redcliffe Peninsula, Queensland
16 January 2020 | Christchurch
22 December 2019 | Christchurch, New Zealand
16 December 2019 | Christchurch, Canterbury, NZ
28 November 2019 | Christchurch, SI, New Zealand
19 November 2019 | Picton, Marlborough, NZ
04 November 2019 | Collingwood, Tasman, South Island, NZ
04 November 2019 | Collingwood, Tasman, South Island, NZ
29 October 2019 | Nelson, South Island, NZ
22 October 2019 | Christchurch, Te Waka o Māui, New Zealand
15 October 2019 | Scarborough, Queensland
05 October 2019 | Scarborough marina, near Brisbane, Australia
16 August 2019 | Southport Spit, Gold Coast, Australia
06 August 2019 | South Stradbroke Island, Gold Coast, Queensland
15 July 2019 | Boatworks, Coomera River, Gold Coast
25 May 2019 | Biggera Waters, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
12 April 2019 | Coomera River, Gold Coast, Australia
02 April 2019 | Southport, The Gold Coast, Australia
16 March 2019 | Southport, Gold Coast, Australia
09 March 2019 | Currigee, South Stradbroke Island, Gold Coast

Underway to Colombia

09 October 2014
Alison
The weather fitted in nicely with departing Aruba for Cabo de vela on the Colombian coast, 135 miles away. Quick customs and immigration clearance and light winds and nearly clear skies we just heading off between the reefs.

Safely on the Hook in Suriname

24 January 2014 | Atlantic Ocean
Geoff and Alison
Photo shows Saraoni safely on one of the new Domburg moorings, 20 miles from the Suriname River mouth.

We have finally crossed the Atlantic after 17 days at sea and are safely anchored in the Suriname River just in the lee of Braamspunt at the mouth of the river. We arrived at the fairway buoy at 7.30 this morning after a calm and clear night. The Atlantic swell had mostly disappeared overnight which was just as well considering the shallow entrance. All buoys were in place according to their charted position. The river and entrance were a milky brown colour with a variety of birds - frigates, terns and herons - flying around and dark, grey coloured dolphins in the muddy water. The shores here are flat and jungly with small beaches and fishing shacks. We managed to make a cup of coffee on a level platform without the constant jerking, rocking and rolling of the Atlantic or Mindelo's swelly anchorage.

Tomorrow, we will use the incoming tide to sail upriver past Suriname's capital - Paramaribo - to the village of Domburg, which we will use as a base while we are here. Suriname, from everything we have read is a laid back friendly place with many different cultures derived from its Dutch colonial inheritance. It also has a lot of rainforest left and plenty of wildlife. Yachts have gone upriver into the jungle and have watched giant anteaters, spider monkeys, otters and more around them. We can't wait!!

Last day on the big pond

23 January 2014 | Atlantic Ocean
Alison and Geoff
Photo shows the approach to Braamspunt at the mouth of the Suriname river - landfall on the South American continent after 17 days!

Day 17 on the Atlantic crossing. The day started with the usual scattered mild squalls with us racing around changing sails and fiddling with the self steering. A white capped noddy tern had taken up residence at the back of the boat perched precariously on one of the life buoys. It didn't seem bothered when we went to the back of the boat to fiddle with the wind vane in the middle of the night. It started preening itself as soon as the sun came up then flew off. The water is now the colour of the Arafura Sea or the Hauraki Gulf and we are on the continental shelf off South America with 50 metres between us and the sea bed. A pod of South American (!) common dolphins came visiting and just for a laugh started doing back flips and somersaults in front of the boat. No fish and no ships so far today. All being well, the next blog should see us anchored up in the Suriname River in flat water!!!

Day 16 - in the grip of the Equatorial Current

22 January 2014 | Western Atlantic Ocean
Geoff
Photo shows Surinamese fishing boat far offshore.

Only 200 miles to go and we are well on course to be off the mouth of the Suriname River to catch the incoming tide on Friday morning. It's much the same out here as the day before. We have made good progress as long as the wind is moderate. We are a little suspicious of our speed - 5 to 6 knots - as we only have our main up most of the time and it's not exactly enormous. Our log is still covered in crap from Mindelo so we can't check the current, but believe we must be well and truly carried along by the west going Northern Equatorial Current which reaches 1 to 2 knots off the South American coast, propelling boats towards the Caribbean with ease. The weather starts the day overcast and some drizzle with occasional squally periods but improves in the afternoon. As this is written, the sea is sparkling and the sky is blue. No fish caught for several days and no sightings of ships.

Day 15

21 January 2014 | Atlantic Ocean
Alison
Photo shows our goosewinged main and jib combination before the boom broke!

We had a clear night with a waning moon with the wind vane now steering the goose winged mizzen and main in 15 to 20 knots comfortably. The morning brought 100% overcast conditions with drizzly rain and uncomfortable gusty winds to 25 knots. The wind shifted to the East so our sail arrangement had to change again and then the motor was finally started up when the wind died in the mid afternoon. The forecast shows similar changeable weather until we reach South America. We managed to contact the Coconut Telegraph Net that links yachties throughout the Caribbean. Its signal had been getting clearer as we get closer. We now only have 5 boats left on the Atlantic Crossing Group Net as they gradually reach their destinations and no longer communicate. We are expecting to get into soundings (when the sea bottom shallows enough to appear on the echosounder) on Thursday afternoon and the Suriname River on Friday, hopefully as the tide is still rising. No fish caught and no shipping sighted today.

Day 14

20 January 2014 | Atlantic Ocean
Alison
We have 450 miles to go. The tempestuous sea has calmed down today and for the next day or 2 the wind is light but picks up a bit more on Wednesday and lightening off again on Thursday. It's actually a sunny day for a change and no rain clouds. We are managing to keep 2 sails set without the pole but are using the electronic autopilot as it will steer the yacht more reliably with our current sail combinations. The wind driven autopilot changes the course of the boat if the wind shifts. Therefore to keep on course continual adjustments are required and the sail combinations are more limited. Our ETA at the mouth of the Suriname river is pm on Friday. The second bit of manmade rubbish was spotted today. The massive oceans of the world are not such great dumping grounds after all. The second ship was spotted today heading in a northerly direction. It didn't appear on the AIS so much for collision avoidance technology.,

Day 13 - Jib Pole Bent

19 January 2014 | Atlantic Ocean
Alison and Geoff
After an uneventful night of steady winds up to 18 knots. Thick cloud as usual and surrounded by harmless looking rain clouds at daybreak, One of those seemingly harmless clouds dealt an unexpected gust that caught the sail on the unintended side causing the jib pole to jerk violently and there it was staring us in the face bent at a complete right angle. We use the pole to prevent the sail from flapping around in the big swells when the wind is directly behind. We can then set our mainsail on the other side as well. This gives us more sail area and more speed to push south westwards but there is undoubtedly pressure on the pole to keep the sail set. We used a hack saw to cut out the bent piece and are riveting on a piece of stainless steel to attach the two pieces. The pole will be shorter so might not work.

Day 12 - Liquid mountains

18 January 2014 | Atlantic Ocean
Alison and Geoff
The expected strong winds came and went with up to 30 knots in gusts overnight and a lot of lurching and sail / course adjustments leaving neither of us with much sleep. The wind has now reduced somewhat and the sky is sunnier after a squall line slid harmlessly past us to the south. There is still a rather large 4 meter swell for us to list and lurch in. Harmless but eye catching. Still another 6 days until landfall- 675 miles to go - the sooner the better!

Day 11

17 January 2014 | Eastern Atlantic Ocean
Alison and Geoff
After a relatively calm night the wind sprung into life as predicted and by the afternoon was gusting up to 25 knots. This means reducing the sail size so that there is more control over the boat. Too much sail up means faster speeds but it's not so easy to control. The weather forecast has been accurate to the nearest 6 hours on this trip so we have got what we expected. It's not supposed to last too long. The winds that we have experienced out in the Atlantic never stay the same. They gust up then drop down by the minute. 790 miles to go to Suriname.

Day 10

16 January 2014 | Eastern Atlantic Ocean
Alison and Geoff
Photo shows white capped noddy tern hitchhiking at the back of the boat.

The cloud has cleared and the trade wind has strengthened to 15 - 20 knots pushing us more quickly towards the South American coast. We are past the halfway mark to our destination of the Surinam River at Paramaribo which gives us hope that at some time in the next 7 days we will see land again. We have 914 miles to go. We managed to catch a pan sized fish yesterday. That's 3 so far. At least there are some fish left in the sea. A oceanic sea bird fluttered around the sails yesterday. It was obviously intrigued by something as it stayed a while but didn't attempt to land on the yacht. At some point we should cross a shipping lane for ships that trade between North America and the Atlantic South American countries. Meanwhile apart from tweaking the sails there isn't much to do.

A little more wind today

15 January 2014 | Eastern Atlantic Ocean
Alison and Geoff
1000 miles to go to Suriname. The skies are clearer but no luck with fishing. No ships sighted or even other yachts and the temperature is rising by the day and is right now 29 degrees.

Day 8

14 January 2014 | Eastern Atlantic Ocean
Alison and Geoff
Photo of Geoff with a mahimahi.

Wind still only around 10 knots but expecting a significant increase on the 17 th. We still have 1130 miles to go to Paramaribo in Suriname which will probably take around 9 to 10 days more.

Day 7 across the Puddle

13 January 2014 | Eastern Atlantic Ocean
Alison and Geoff
The forecast light winds have continued - they started to veer around to the south east last night and we were able to set full sail with genoa, main and mizzen for the first time since Mindelo. It was also raining last night, and the sky is still full of cloud and is dull today. The wind does vary in strength, but it has been hard to keep sailing in these light winds anything between 2.5 to 5 knots. The wind is not expected to return in strength until Thursday, so we have a long, slow, drift until then! We have used the motor occasionally, but there is no point in using it much yet as there is too far still to go and we may need it in the last stages as we close in on the South American mainland.

The good thing about the lack of wind has been that it is mostly quite comfortable on the boat - We been reading one book after another on Kindle as well as eating, drinking and sleeping! Our Sailmail signal with Belgium, Nova Scotia and now South Carolina has been quite good and we have even been able to send articles to clients via the HF radio.

Today, we passed another milestone on this interminable trip - we passed the one third way point - and now have only 1240 miles to go! We should pass the half way point on Thursday and now look at our crossing taking 18 days to the mouth of the Suriname river rather than the 16 we had originally calculated. This is our 15 th �"ocean�" trip. It is certainly our longest in distance, and now looks like the longest in duration if we take longer than the 17 days we took on our first trans Tasman trip to New Caledonia from the Bay of Islands in 1987 - half of which we were either hove to or lying ahull!

The little band of yachts we keep in contact with by twice daily radio sched has shrunk. The majority made their way across from the Canaries in strong winds and have now arrived in the Caribbean and no longer call in. Another 2 are closing in on St Lucia and Barbados, leaving 5 or 6 on the list. One is heading to Brazil, 3 of us are heading for Suriname although 2 of these boats are still at anchor in Mindelo, 3 more for Barbados and another for Martinique.

Wind has dropped

12 January 2014 | Eastern Atlantic Ocean
Alison and Geoff
Day 6 of our Atlantic crossing to Suriname. The wind has dropped to virtually nothing and we have been motoring for the last 4 hours. We haven't seen much sun so far and no rain and we haven't caught a fish for 3 days either.

Day 5 on the Surinam run

11 January 2014 | Eastern Atlantic Ocean
Alison and Geoff
The wind has dropped to below 10 knots at times so we are plodding along at around 4 knots, sometimes less, sometimes more. The calmer weather may last another three days before increasing again. We are goose winged with the genoa poled out on the windward side. The ocean is relatively calm, although there is still a cross swell. A French yacht has passed us on its way to French Guiana from Mindelo. They left on the same dy that we did, so have still taken four days to catch us up. No fish caught today although we still get a few flying fish landing on the deck. We have now passed the first quarter way point but still have 1421 nautical miles to go. It seems a long way

Pink lures for fresh fish

10 January 2014 | Eastern Atlantic Ocean
Alison and Geoff
Day 4 on the Atlantic. Pink lures appear to be the meal of the day for foraging fish as we seemed to be the only yacht to be catching anything until we announced over the net that pink is best and a yacht reported this morning that it had caught a fish with the same type of lure. We have 60 small tins of tuna on board and one freshly caught fish is worth probably at least 10 tins and no fossil fuels were used in catching and processing. Cooking is more difficult than catching with the constant lurching motion. 1523 miles to go to the Suriname river. The wind has eased today to 10 to 12 knots but a jerky swell remains. We have taken down the mizzen and put up the main goose winged, although this remains an art. With the swell dominant from the beam and the wind now dead astern, the main easily back winds the genoa, causing it to flog in the lighter wind. The knack is to get the genoa poled out to windward and the main on the other side, but the whole process is quite laborious.

Day 3 on the Atlantic Crossing to Surinam

09 January 2014 | Eastern Atlantic Ocean
Alison and Geoff
Quite a windy night last night so we had to take down the mizzen which was doing a nice job of making the boat's rolling motion smoother,then reefed and unreefed the genoa. Today, the forecasted windy conditions have been up and down, mostly 15 to 22 knots with grey skies. Saw two ships, one passing within a mile or two of us - no AIS until quite close, so assume it must have turned it on when it saw us. Also saw a large dolphin or small whale jumping several metres into the air. No fish caught yesterday but we did catch a 65 cm dorado or mahimahi today. These Atlantic fish seem to be smaller on average than the ones caught in the Red Sea, but that's o.k. At least our fridge is working! Wind is expected to ease tomorrow, which is not always a help as it is back to balancing the mizzen and genoa again with the sail area being a little too small to keep us up to speed.

Dolphins and fish

08 January 2014 | Sailing to Suriname into day 2
Alison and Geoff
As we left the Cape Verdes behind a pod of lively dolphins frolicked in our bow wave and once they had continued on their way we caught a reasonably sized fish-good for 2 meals at least. So far so good out here with the surging waves rushing past and a waxing moon. 1800 miles to go.

Off Today for Suriname

07 January 2014
Alison
We are underway now with approximately 1900 nautical miles to go. We are expecting light to moderate winds for the first two days, freshening a little for the next 2 then reducing for the next 2 and then the weather gods will decide. Expected time at sea 14-15 days.
Vessel Name: Saraoni
Vessel Make/Model: South Coast 36
Hailing Port: Tutukaka, New Zealand
Crew: Alison and Geoff Williams
About:
Saraoni is named after an island in Milne Bay which guards and protects one of our favourite anchorages - Kana Kopi Bay - frequently occupied by us while we were teaching in Alotau, PNG. We have lived, cruised and worked for the last 30 years on three very different boats. [...]
Extra: CONTACT DETAILS Telephone / SMS number +61 477 285 361 (Australian mobile no.) Email saraoni@gmail.com (main email address)
Saraoni's Photos - Main
A collection of photos taken during the Tiki Tour of the Southern half of the South Island, November / December 2019
40 Photos
Created 15 December 2019
9 Photos
Created 2 April 2019
Photos taken of Saraoni. All interior photos were taken in the last week.
10 Photos
Created 2 April 2019
The ABCs - Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are mostly low lying dry, scrubby islands in the Western Caribbean near the Venezuelan coastline
15 Photos
Created 21 May 2014
12 Photos
Created 20 March 2014
4 Photos
Created 9 March 2014
Images taken in and around Suriname's capital
40 Photos
Created 9 February 2014
River Images
8 Photos
Created 28 January 2014
Images of the 2 islands in the Cape Verde island group we visited on our way across the Atlantic in 2013 - Sao Vicente and Santo Antaao.
37 Photos
Created 26 December 2013
3 Photos
Created 16 December 2013
1 Photo
Created 16 December 2013
21 Photos
Created 23 August 2013
What we saw in the USA
14 Photos
Created 21 August 2013
9 Photos
Created 19 August 2013
Unexpected meeting with old friends "in the woods".
6 Photos
Created 24 June 2013
A brother found amongst the gorges of the Cevennes
5 Photos
Created 10 June 2013
Photographic images of our long walk along the Appalachian mountains in the USA
26 Photos
Created 10 June 2013
17 Photos
Created 19 December 2012
15 Photos
Created 25 November 2012
9 Photos
Created 16 November 2012
25 Photos
Created 15 November 2012
16 Photos
Created 20 October 2012
2 Photos
Created 4 June 2012
Greece is in the throes of a recession, but they still have the last laugh - never far from the sun, the sea, colour, culture and bags of history. The photos document our Aegean odyssey from May to September 2011
31 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
O.K. We're mad, but we somehow prefer a home on the sea to one on dry land.
12 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur - the three ancient city states of the Kathmandu valley have mediaeval architectural wonders in their Durbars and old town areas - a meshing and merging of Hinduism, Buddhism and materialism
9 Photos
Created 17 December 2011
Some of the shots taken of us while on one of our 30 odd days on the three main mountain trails we walked in the Anapurnas and Helambu region of Nepal's side of the Himalayas
10 Photos
Created 15 December 2011
People make the Himalayas a unique place to walk through. From Hindu rice and buffalo farmers in the foothills to the Buddhist villages in the highlands so influenced by Tibetan ancestry and trade over the passes
16 Photos
Created 15 December 2011
Nepal has ten of the world's highest mountains within its boundaries or shared with India and Tibet - these are truly giant peaks!
22 Photos
Created 15 December 2011
These were all photographed in the wilds of Chitwan and Bardia National Parks - which are two of the last havens of biodiversity in Nepal's low lying Terai district.
18 Photos
Created 14 December 2011
Saraoni hauled out on Finike's hardstand for biennial maintenance and painting
3 Photos
Created 26 April 2011
8 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 6 March 2011
4 Photos
Created 6 March 2011
Ruined city
4 Photos
Created 10 January 2011
3 Photos
Created 10 January 2011
12 Photos
Created 10 January 2011
7 Photos
Created 30 December 2010
5 Photos
Created 28 December 2010
6 Photos
Created 11 December 2010
The small rocky island of Kastellorizou is Greece's most remote island
7 Photos
Created 11 December 2010
Cruising and walking Turkey's Lycian coast September and October 2010
19 Photos
Created 11 December 2010
8 Photos
Created 6 December 2010
Images taken while walking sections of the 500 km Lycian Way or Lykia Yolu on the South West Mediterranean Coast of Turkey
11 Photos
Created 9 November 2010

Post Circumnavigation

Who: Alison and Geoff Williams
Port: Tutukaka, New Zealand