Steen Rally

Follow us on our sailing adventure from France to Australia

30 December 2015 | Sydney
29 July 2015 | Sydney
15 January 2015 | Sydney
22 December 2014 | Sydney
21 November 2014 | Cairns, Australia
02 November 2014 | Cairns, Australia
21 October 2014 | Port Vila, Vanuatu
01 October 2014 | Fiji
20 September 2014 | Fiji
08 September 2014 | Fiji
24 July 2014 | Neiafu, Tonga
06 July 2014 | Tahaa. French Polynesia
23 June 2014 | Moorea
23 June 2014 | Moorea
15 June 2014 | Papeete, Tahiti
14 May 2014 | Marquesas, French Polynesia

Transitioning...

29 July 2015 | Sydney
Voahangy
Sydney, July 2015

It is easy to tell we are not cruising any longer, the updates just stopped.

For the past 6 months, I have tried to come up with a monthly post, but the reality is that we have been busy settling back into suburbia, not many new places to discover, meaning not much to tell. That is, from a cruising point of view. We have lived vicariously thru other friends’ travels (some of them are still cruising, others are embarking on their own trip of a lifetime…) and felt a touch of envy, but for now, time has come to set down roots and catch up with “real” life.

Starting with “proper” school for the kids back to their old schools. Marc is now studying in year 11 at Woolooware High and will finish school in 18 months. Anne resumed year 6 at Burraneer Bay Public School, catching up with her old friends and will move onto High School next year at Woolooware High. Both are doing very well, though while Anne is finding it very easy (even too easy she tells me!), Marc is finding some subjects very challenging. I admit that Physics, Advanced Maths and Engineering never featured on the homeschooling schedule, a mistake from our part in hindsight as these subjects seem to be THE ones to select in order to reach an above average mark for the HSC. Still, Marc tries very hard to catch up for lost time and get decent grades. He has so much homework and assignments, we hardly see him out of his room these days. I guess he now has to answer to several teachers who possess varying degrees of tolerance, and realises that it is all in his hands. Terry and I are very pleased about that, I particularly feel like I am on a permanent holiday, being relieved of the supervisor role.

We moved off the boat during the Easter holidays, once the weather started to cool down and the kids asked to move closer to school and their friends. The shift to our old house was an easy one, though it took a while to settle down as we not only moved boxes of “stuff” ( I can’t think of a better word) from the boat, but were also faced with twenty or so cartons we had packed away before we took off 4 years ago. I didn’t mind, it felt like Christmas re-discovering old kitchenware, books, clothes and photos from a previous life. Just like seeing old friends again! Terry saw it differently, urging me to sort thru the never ending piles of boxes for fear of being swamped and end up like these movie characters stuck in their library.

I personally don’t care so much about the chaos in our library, I’d much rather spend time in my new (old) kitchen. It is 3 times bigger than the galley on the boat, with plenty of room to store my favourite gadgets and dish out dinner for 14. It’s an ideal setting for cooking experiments and big gatherings, providing ample writing material for the food blog. Saying that, while convenient and spacious, the only outlook is the neighbours’ uninspiring driveway, and I sorely miss my boat galley drenched in sunshine and overlooking the water. In contrast my house kitchen feels more like the belly of a castle…

So what else has been happening? There have been a few trips in the city, catching up with friends and business. Endless drives to various kids’ activities, which thankfully are being reduced every term (Anne is slowly recognising that 2 after school activities done well are better that 5 botched ones). The four of us just returned from a skiing trip to falls Creek in the Victorian Alps. Not as good as some of our previous winter holidays in France or Canada; the weather didn’t cooperate until the day we left, hardly any snow, we skied on the same 3 useable slopes for 5 days. On the positive side, the staff and residents did all they could to please and the best part for us, was having a break as a family, playing board games, cooking together, talking for ages…just like on the boat.

Oh yes, the boat. What is becoming of it? No big trips since New Year’s Eve, I am afraid. Emptying it took months, and as I am writing this post, Terry and I just completed another cleaning session today! A few repairs and cosmetic work were carried out (some still going…) in the view of attracting a buyer. For we have reached this sad and painful stage where we realise that long term cruising is no longer possible for now, with the kids in High school and requiring access to land-based facilities. Our Lagoon 560 is a formidable cruising boat that has been sitting at a dock for 6 months, and while I am the first to recognise that she looks beautiful and stylish, she also looks forlorn and dying to sail away again. With the move and the repair works in the past few months, I have not given that much thought to selling her, actually hoping that life circumstances would allow us to enjoy another trip or two away. However, things are in motion lately, and Terry’s words are for getting the boat ready for sale…
Very timely decision as the Sydney Boat Show is starting next week. This will be the perfect opportunity to catch up with the Lagoon team who has been supporting us over the years. Who knows, Terry might be in the market for a new boat…We have also been lucky to be asked by the World Cruising Club to come in and share our experience with the ARC with potential participants. It is a bit like going full circle, no? Sydney peeps, we’ll be at the ARC stand on August 1 from 9am to 11am for a breakfast chat. Looking forward to seeing some of you…

Sydney, Juillet 2015

On peut dire que la croisière est finie quand les mises à jour se font rares.

Cela fait 6 mois que je tente de rédiger une circulaire mensuelle, mais nous avons été tellement affaires avec notre réinstallation à terre et la gestion de notre nouveau quotidien, sans vraiment de nouveaux endroits à découvrir on n’a donc pas grand-chose à raconter. En ce qui concerne la navigation en tous cas. Nous avons bien partage les récits de voyages de certains amis (quelques-uns continuent de naviguer, d’autres ont entamé leur propre périple …) non sans les envier, mais pour l’instant, il est temps de poser nos bagages et nous remettre dans la vie « réelle ».

A commencer par l’école pour les enfants, de retour dans leurs anciens établissements. Marc est désormais en 1ere à Woolooware High et finira sa scolarité dans 18 mois. Anne elle est rentrée en 6eme à Burraneer Bay Public School, retrouvant ses anciennes copines et entrera au collège l’an prochain. Tous les deux se débrouillent très bien, Anne trouvant le programme facile à suivre (même un peu trop facile selon elle) alors que Marc peine à cerner certaines matières. Il faut dire que la physique, les maths de haut niveau et les cours d’ingénierie n’ont jamais figuré sur le programme de scolarité à bord. C’est sans doute une erreur de notre part a posteriori vu que ces matières semblent être essentielles pour obtenir une note au-dessus de la moyenne pour le HSC (High School Certificate, l’équivalent australien du Bac). Cela n’empêche pas Marc de bosser dur pour rattraper son retard et obtenir des notes correctes. Il a tellement de boulot qu’on le voit a peine ces temps-ci. Je pense que maintenant qu’il a plusieurs profs à qui répondre, tous d’une tolérance variable, il se rend compte que la balle est dans son camp pour réussir. Terry et moi sommes ravis de la situation, on a l’impression d’être en vacances permanente surtout moi qui dorénavant n’exerce plus le rôle de superviseur !

Nous avons donc quitte le bateau pendant les vacances de Pâques, quand le temps a commencé à se rafraichir et les enfants souhaitaient se rapprocher de leurs amis et de l’école. Le déménagement s’est fait sans soucis, bien qu’il ait fallu un certain temps pour transférer des cartons entiers d’affaires du bateau tout en devant ouvrir une vingtaine de colis que nous avions laisses dans le garage avant notre départ il y a 4 ans. Personnellement ça ne me gênait pas, on se serait cru a Noel, a redécouvrir d’anciens livres, vêtements et photos de famille. C’était comme des retrouvailles ! Mais Terry en a pensé autrement, et m’a poussée à trier toutes ces piles de cartons, par peur de devenir une de ces couples qui croule sous le poids des souvenirs dans leur bibliothèque, comme dans les films.

Franchement, le bardas dans la bibliothèque je m’en fiche un peu, je préfère bien mieux passer mon temps dans mon ancienne- nouvelle cuisine. 3 fois plus spacieuse que mon espace a bord, elle abrite plein de place pour stocker mes gadgets culinaires ainsi que l’espace nécessaire pour cuisinier un diner pour 14 convives. C’est un environnement idéal pour faire des expériences gastronomiques, source d’inspiration pour le blog culinaire. Ceci dit, bien que pratique et spacieuse, la seule vue de la cuisine est sur l’allée de garage, ma foi très banale, de mon voisin et comme ma cuisine à bord me manque avec ses vitrages ouverts au soleil et le panorama sur la baie a perte de vue… ! En comparaison, ma cuisine ici ressemble de plus en plus à une cuisine de château, recluse au fin fond de la propriété.

Donc ou en sommes-nous ? Il y a eu quelques excursions en ville, pour affaires et retrouvailles entre amis. Des trajets interminables pour accompagner les enfants a de multiples activités extra-scolaires, qui heureusement se font plus rares tous les trimestres ( Anne réalisant enfin que 2 activités prises sérieusement valent bien mieux que 5 bâclées !).Nous revenons juste d’un séjour au ski à Falls Creek dans les « Alpes » de Victoria. Compare aux stations de sport d’hiver en France ou au Canada, ce n’est pas terrible : la météo nous a fait défaut jusqu’à la veille de notre départ, manque de neige, on a skie pendant 5 jours sur les 3 seules pistes praticables grâce aux canons à neige, heureusement les résidents et employés ont fait tout leur possible pour nous divertir. Mais finalement, ce qui a compte le plus pour nous était d’être en vacances en famille, tous les 4, nous retrouver à jouer ensemble, cuisiner ensemble, entamer des discussions à n’en plus finir…bref, comme sur le bateau.

Justement, le bateau, parlons-en. Que devient-il ? Malheureusement, il n’a pas beaucoup bouge depuis le début de l’année. On a mis des mois à le vider, et en ce moment même, Terry et moi venons de finir une autre séance de nettoyage ! Plusieurs réparations et quelques opérations cosmétiques ont été effectuées (certaines encore en chantier…) dans le but d’attirer un acheteur. Car, oui, nous sommes dans la triste et pénible situation ou repartir en croisière est hors de question pour le moment, les enfants étant maintenant au lycée et ayant besoin de se poser à terre. Notre Lagoon 560 est un formidable bateau de croisière qui languit au quai depuis 6 mois, et même si je suis la première à reconnaitre qu’il est très beau et très class, il a aussi l’air bien seul et n’attend que de repartir naviguer. Entre le déménagement et les travaux à bord ces derniers temps, je n’ai pas trop pense a une éventuelle séparation, au contraire j’ai espéré qu’un changement de circonstances nous permette de nous évader encore un peu à l’avenir. Mais, pousse par certains évènements dernièrement, Terry s’est mis dans la tête de préparer le bateau pour la vente…

Une décision qui tombe à pic avec l’ouverture du Salon Nautique de Sydney cette semaine. Ce sera l’occasion de retrouver l’équipe de Lagoon, qui nous a soutenu toutes ces années. Et on ne sait jamais, Terry pourrait être intéressé par un nouveau bateau…Nous avons également eu la chance d’être invite par le World Cruising Club à participer à un forum/discussion sur l’ARC et partager notre expérience avec des participants potentiels. Ce sera une belle façon de fermer la boucle non ? Donc, avis aux amateurs, si vous passez par Sydney, nous serons au stand de l’ARC le 1er Aout de 9h à 11h pour le petit déjeuner. A bientôt…
Comments
Vessel Name: VOAHANGY
Vessel Make/Model: Lagoon 560
Hailing Port: Sydney
Crew: Terry, Voahangy, Marc, Anne Steen
About:
Terry, 71, skipper, ex-pilot, surfer, aerobatics champion, can fix anything, never sea sick, loves a beer, hates the cold, is happiest anchored off a deserted beach. [...]
VOAHANGY's Photos - Main
84 Photos
Created 20 November 2014
2 glorious months, cruising various parts of Fiji. So many different experiences in one country: lush rainforests, colourful indian towns, blue lagoons, traditional villages, great fishing, fancy resorts... And the best part was sharing the cruising with family and friends. Can't beat Fiji with company! Here is a collection of our favourite moments (and there are a few!!!)
1 Photo | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 12 October 2014
Some of the whales actions we witnessed in Tonga, to read with the Whales action post by Anne!
7 Photos
Created 1 October 2014
Whale watching, snorkelling, bonfires, making new friends...One of the most remote and austere destination, far away from big tourism, with friendly people holding on to their traditions. Weather a bit chilly, but who cares???
46 Photos
Created 10 September 2014
49 Photos
Created 25 July 2014
15 Photos
Created 25 July 2014
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Created 25 July 2014
38 Photos
Created 30 June 2014
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Created 30 June 2014
72 Photos
Created 28 June 2014
55 Photos
Created 23 June 2014
27 Photos
Created 15 May 2014
37 Photos
Created 11 May 2014
40 Photos
Created 30 March 2014
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 15 March 2014
The time finally came to leave...a month of celebrations and sadness!
30 Photos
Created 5 March 2014
Another holiday within the holiday! Spent 13 fantastic days in Whistler, British Columbia joined by Aussie friends David and Denise. First time on skis for them, perfecting camps for Marc and Anne, loads of fun for everyone.
70 Photos
Created 8 February 2014
Nothing like having family and friends coming for a visit in the sun. Lots of eating, drinking, swimming, laughing...showing everyone our small paradise.
99 Photos
Created 30 January 2014
End of school year in Puerto, many get togethers before flying off to Paris for a family Christmas.
25 Photos
Created 23 January 2014
Day of the Dead festival, a friend visiting from Australia, Anne participating in her first martial arts tournament,...As usual a lot of eating and socialising!
40 Photos
Created 2 December 2013
68 Photos
Created 6 November 2013
Having visitors means putting on our tour guide hat "Voahangy & Co in Mexico", much exploring and eating: ruins, cenotes, beaches, villages, markets,... . I shared Mexican cooking lessons and was repaid with Dutch baking classes from our French guest. We ate a lot of cakes this month! So much sugar, no candies needed for Halloween this year, just parties...
74 Photos
Created 1 November 2013
This is the slowest month of the year in Mexico: hurricane threats, hot and humid weather, torrential rains drive the tourists away and confine the rest of us indoors. It poured for 22 days non stop! We still managed a dive (in the rain) for Father's Day, a day of all you can eat and drink at the local resort for Terry's birthday, and as usual lots of cooking and eating. Just on cue, the weather cleared at the end of the month for the arrival of Marie Suzanne, a French girlfriend. So lots of touring and catching up. Celebrated Mexican Independence Day all month long (it seems), eating black beans and pork verde!
47 Photos
Created 10 October 2013
No excursions this month. Just hanging around Puerto Aventuras, school, friends, ...Sat thru a couple of storms, torrential rains, big winds...Nowhere to go so more time spent in the galley and writing about it!!!
33 Photos
Created 12 September 2013
Holiday month for everyone: visitors from the USA, kids in and out, parties, US National Day celebration, French National Day celebration, Tulum for a night (bliss...) The start of a new food blog meant a month spent in the galley experimenting. Not much in terms of local food, mostly home cooked French. Chocolate cake anyone?
41 Photos
Created 24 August 2013
Holiday Seasons with old and new friends, provisioning and preparing to leave the USA...
54 Photos
Created 16 July 2013
End of school year performances, lots of baking/cooking for school festivities, Marc hospitalised, first tropical storms testing our nerves, road trip to Belize... Eat ceviche, my latest food addiction!!!
15 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 July 2013
Lots on! An interesting road trip to the Chiapas region, wonderful ruins of Palenque, green and lush Tabasco, Anne's birthday, Cozumel by boat, Kids sports graduation...Eat chilaquiles, breakfast with a difference.
26 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 2 July 2013
Settling down and mixing with the locals: kids are off to school, birthday parties, more of Tulum, unexpected reunion with fellow cruisers. Eat: black bean soup!
30 Photos
Created 2 July 2013
Not much tourism this month. We finally made the decision to stay for the rest of the year. So it's head down with school, get together with cruising friends ( they're passing thru while we stay behind) and switching to "landlubber's" mode. Resolved to eat at home more often, back to healthier diet.
19 Photos
Created 13 June 2013
Exploring the Yucatan peninsula by car, to Uxmal ruins and Merida. More of Tulum. Marc's Birthday. Try Flyboarding. Join in the local community of Puerto Aventuras. Xel-Ha. Discover Playa del Carmen. Eat nachos.
27 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 13 June 2013
Landfall in Isla Mujeres, find our way around our new home in Puerto Aventuras, excursion to Coba ruins, discover Tulum, swim with dolphins, eat tacos...
31 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 13 June 2013
Our last few weeks (even months) have been spent in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico. Not much cruising for us, more like enjoying company of new friends, safety of a protected harbor, and relaxing for a while, knowing we don't have to go anywhere for a while...
25 Photos
Created 2 April 2013
2 weeks in an island where time has stood still for 50 years! Road trip La havana - Vinales- Cienfuegos - Trinidad - La Havana. Cruise down the west coast, beautiful beaches, good fishing, diving,... Warm waters at last!!!!
3 Sub-Albums
Created 5 February 2013
To be enjoyed while reading the post!
43 Photos
Created 31 December 2012
Exploring Charleston and Savannah
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 27 December 2012
2 weeks shore leave, driving to Shenandoah National Park: lots of hiking, eating "country style" food, looking for bears, avoiding bears...Long drive across to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to visit the Wrights brothers memorial and Cape Hatteras.
28 Photos
Created 25 December 2012
Caught up with friends, left the boat on display at the 2012 Boat Show, toured historic downtown and US Naval Academy, watched a football game...welcome to the US sailing capital!
51 Photos
Created 25 December 2012
Unforgetable summer cruising around Block island, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard.
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 16 December 2012
46 Photos
Created 17 October 2012
A leisurely cruise from New York to Newport. Quite anchorages, fresh ocean breeze, ...a million miles away from Big City living!
37 Photos
Created 5 September 2012
July and September in the Big Apple. Cruise, Eat, Shop, Walk,...Look at some of our best memories (work in progress, I am still sorting thru thousands fo photos!)
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 3 September 2012
Museums, memorials, parks, bike trails...the most photogenic city.
85 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
First voyage in July, on our way to Washington DC. Passing thru quaint and historical towns, sampling crabs and oysters in hot summer nights... Returned in September, enjoying all Annapolis has to offer (well, nearly), and the spectacle of autumn foliage.
20 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
Where there are some seriously clever people!
22 Photos
Created 15 August 2012
29 Photos
Created 20 July 2012
Shore leave: Make believe, dreams come true, thrills, fast food...Anything goes here!!!
42 Photos
Created 20 July 2012
Welcome to America! Our port of entry, last moments with friends, base for a mini-refit, and our first taste of the USA...
18 Photos
Created 30 June 2012
59 Photos
Created 31 May 2012
17 Photos
Created 25 May 2012
33 Photos
Created 25 May 2012
52 Photos
Created 25 April 2012
19 Photos
Created 14 April 2012
30 Photos
Created 14 April 2012
28 Photos
Created 30 March 2012
28 Photos
Created 5 March 2012
40 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
36 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
25 Photos
Created 28 January 2012
49 Photos
Created 8 January 2012
37 Photos
Created 4 January 2012
40 Photos
Created 28 December 2011
What happens during a transat?
40 Photos
Created 14 December 2011
44 Photos
Created 19 November 2011
22 Photos
Created 19 November 2011
40 Photos
Created 19 November 2011
13 Photos
Created 19 November 2011
18 Photos
Created 19 November 2011
30 Photos
Created 17 November 2011
21 Photos
Created 30 October 2011
18 Photos
Created 22 October 2011
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Created 1 October 2011
21 Photos
Created 8 September 2011

S.V VOAHANGY

Who: Terry, Voahangy, Marc, Anne Steen
Port: Sydney