|Vessel Name:||Pied-a-Mer III|
|Vessel Make/Model:||Seawind 1160 Catamaran|
|Hailing Port:||Clatskanie, OR|
|Crew:||Pam & Eric|
|About:||Pam (the Admiral among other things) Our wonderful boat cat Rose spent her final year with Terrell in the US. She lived a good life, loved to sail!|
|Extra:||Pied-a-Mer III is our home. We live where the wind takes us. Currently on the hard in The BoatYard in Neiafu, The Kingdom of Tonga.|
November 2017, Heading Home From Neiafu, Tonga we made a four night passage to Apia, Samoa which is on the island of Upolu. With the exception of the last hour, it was an easy passage as we motor sailed the entire way----not the way we like to get from point A to B but sometimes it's the best way. [...]
We seem to be making a habit of turning around. Our current âturn aroundâ put us in The Kingdom of Tonga in cyclone season. In May we left Opua, New Zealand only to turn around after two and a half days at sea and return to Opuaâ�"â�"Cyclone Donna was in our way. In December, sixteen days after leaving Pago Pago, American Samoa for Hilo Hawaii, we turned around and headed back to Pago Pago. This second âturn aroundâ was not due to a cyclone but to a ripped main, an engine that wasnât working and a 5kt./ 400 mile wide current going the wrong way. We were out 26 days only to return to American Samoa where we sorted out our engine problemâ�"â�"-bad fuelâ�"â�"and then motored to The Kingdom of Tonga where we hauled out in The Boat Yard in Neiafu, Vavaâu. Our âIridium Goâ allowed us to email the Boatyard to make sure they had room for us. Great grassy area at the Boatyard, perfect for marking Sail for repairs.
After several months at anchor or on a pile mooring in Whangarei we finally headed south and had a wonderful time exploring Great Barrier Island-Aotea . Great Barrier Island was named by Captain Cook for the Barrier it forms between the Hauraki Gulf and the open sea. About 850 people live permanently [...]
We spent a month at anchor outside of the Bay of Islands Marina in Opua, NZ. Ten days were spent with seminars, tours, BBQ's and socializing, all part of the Island Cruising Associations "All Points Rally". After the Rally, Eric got down to the business of replacing existing solar and adding more solar. Hours of "design thoughts" went into the project and finally the plan and specs were ready for implementation. In order to mount the four 200 watt panels that were ordered, Eric needed to remove the two panels that were original to the boat and the two flexible panels that we added in Mexico. The four replacement panels were larger than our existing panels which meant their installation would require some creative engineering with stainless, aluminum, canvas and welding----right up Eric's engineering ally, with the exception of the welding which we had done in the boatyard in Opua. With modified stainless supports, the panels above the stern were installed, they are a a little longer than the original ones but they fit. The other two panels were installed on either side of the targa replacing the canvas pieces which held the flexible panels. We had recently bought a Sailrite sewing machine, which had been on Eric's "wish list" for several years, so we used the existing canvas to fill in the gaps and installed clear windows in the canvas at the two helms-----now we can see sail trim without leaning our heads around the helms. Our original solar plan of 330 watts was satisfactory in the tropics for keeping our freezer, refrigerator and most other things in electricity all day and all night long, but it would take until 4 or 5 in the afternoon before our batteries were at 100% which is appropriate to get through the evening. With our new panels of 840 watts---- on a bright day in NZ we are at 100% by 11:00 am. This is good because our next project is "sonic hull cleaning" which will take up 38 amp hours per day over and above our current usage of approximately 70 amp hours----a little over a 50% increase. Next Blog entry-------road trips!
We have been in Opua, New Zealand now for 5 days, long enough to do laundry, provision, locate boat parts and reconnect with cruising friends and meet new friends. Last night we got down to analyzing our passage from Noumea, New Caledonia to Opua and deemed it a good one. We had some very good winds, periods of very little wind, a few rain showers, daily SSB contact with friends, Jenny and Rich on sv Plan Sea and yes, we did have a couple of boat issues----does anyone know a boat that doesn't have a glitch or two on an ocean passage? Our first 24 hours out we covered 160.65 mm---which, for us, is very good. For the first couple of days the seas were pretty rolly but the sun was blazing---we were smiling. We would occasionally hit a "no wind" pocket, turn on an engine for a short time and then be back under sail. Day #3 we started the starboard engine and discovered that the prop was not functioning, now we are down to just the port engine. Now, we were OK with one functioning engine however, we knew we would need the starboard fuel as we still had at least 5 days of passage before we reached NZ. Day #3 was a day of continual wind shifts, confused seas, sail changes and motor motor sailing. Day # 4 was a good day of sailing, bad valve on propane tank (which Eric was able to temporarily solve) and we traded shorts for long pants and long sleeved shirts. This was the last day that we were able to see svPlan Sea----they changed course a bit and motor sailed ahead of us. We were trying to sail as much as possible. On my 1200-0400 watch on Day#5, the sky was as black as I had ever seen it. At 0605 we went to third reef with the main and reefed the jib-----sailed through the day. At 0600 on Day#6 Eric woke me up, the second reef line had broken and there was a ripped seam in the main sail. Eric immediately grabbed tape, etc. and, with me keeping the boat into the wind, taped the sail hoping to prevent further tearing. Our other major project for Day #6 was decanting two jerry cans of diesel into the port tank. Then, Day #7 brought successfully siphoning diesel from the starboard engine into jerry cans and then decanting the jerry cans into the port engine----all of this was done inside the boat---we didn't have to go out in the wind and rain. We had always talked about what we would do in a situation like this and now we know----it can be done. This was a good excercise. Maybe our success was due to pod of dolphins and a pod of whales that shared our "spot on the "ocean----we wished they had had AIS or nav lights. Day #8-----0942, at the Customs dock in Opua.
Many activities surrounding the birthday of King Aho'eitu Tupou VI Two nights of a Military Tattoo, an Agricultural Fair, Feasts, decorated boats. We saw and were close to the King on several occasions. Close enough to see his feet with black and silver NIKES.
Created 30 October 2017
Arrived in Nuku'alofa on Sunday May 28, 2017 from Opua, New Zealand. 10 days and 9 nights at sea. February 2018 Tongatapu was badly damaged by Cyclone Gita. Worst storm to hit the island in 60 years. Pied-a-Mer III was in Neiafu, Vava'u and Eric and I were in Oregon.
Created 21 July 2017
Our trip down south. Wanted to take Pied-a-Mer III back to Woolongon as that's where she had been built. Jervis Bay was a highlight because that's where we were able to meet Melinda Mathews Brogan, Melinda Altamirano's Australian pen pal (and we didn't take one photo of her)
Created 19 April 2016